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Sens. Ben Sasse and John McCain on Thursday urged the United States to join with its NATO allies in "a coordinated response to Russia's shadow operations," including its latest apparent attack on a former Russian intelligence officer in Great Britain.

The Nebraska senator and Arizona's McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote to the Department of Defense, the CIA and the State Department in calling for the Trump administration to take action.

"We ask that you prioritize discussions with our NATO allies regarding a collective response to this attack," the senators wrote.

Sasse and McCain said they welcome the administration's announcement of U.S. sanctions on Russia "in response to its information operations during the 2016 election and its continued cyber-attacks against the United States and our allies."

"The United Kingdom took a strong step (in) responding to the vile and reckless use of a military-grade nerve agent against ex-Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, his daughter and the community of Salisbury, England," they noted.

"Sadly, this attack will not be the last time that Russia tries to silence those who publicly condemn (Vladimir) Putin's regime from western soil," the senators wrote. 

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"That is why the United States should be leading conversations with our NATO allies weighing a coordinated response now so that we are better prepared to react to Russia's next brazen act against our allies and the rules-based international system."

Sasse is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSDon.

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Political reporter

Don Walton, a Husker and Yankee fan, is a longtime Journal Star political and government reporter.

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