These are extraordinary times in Russian-American relations. Moscow is grappling with the famous Kissinger question – “Who do I call if I want to speak to Europe?” The point is, there are multiple power centres in the Washington Beltway.
Tag: INF Treaty
No doubt, the steady build-up of NATO on Russia’s western border provides the backdrop to the demise of the INF Treaty. The US seeks a shift in the strategic balance in its favor. And it is shaking off all constraints limiting its arms build-up.
Russia and Europe do not need any kind of arms race or any type of war – be it limited or all-out one. So, why not to reach arms control agreements between Russia and Europe separately from the USA in order to maintain stable European security on completely different footing? Only political will is required.
The real situation in the world today shows that there are too many doctrinal and military-technical obstacles preventing the complete and irreversible elimination of all nuclear weapons. There has also been no noticeable increase in the level of trust between nuclear-armed states, which all have different views on nuclear arms control and the doctrinal basis for their actual use.
Having announced the country’s unilateral withdrawal from the INF Treaty, Donald Trump’s administration is planning to enmesh both Europe and Asia in the new intermediate-range and shorter-range nuclear missiles that Washington decided to create a long time ago. Many countries around the world understand this perfectly.
Unfortunately, Heiko Maas’ plan to strengthen arms control is poorly thought out and does not take adequate account of the true state of affairs in this area. His proposal puts the diametrically opposed military and political policies of the United States and Russia on an equal footing internationally and is also unbalanced with regard to China.
The Trump administration seems to have decided to use the current international security environment to its own economic advantage and kill two birds with one stone. After all, military escalation and a new arms race both provide powerful leverage over opponents and are an effective way to attract financial flows.
In the conclusion of their joint statement approved in Almaty, the CSTO members urged the relevant parties to facilitate a constructive dialog and to do all that is needed to resolve the current disputes related to the implementation of the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate- and Shorter-Range Missiles, in order to reduce potential future risks.
Despite the strategic nature of the weapons at Russia’s disposal, they were obviously not created for direct, targeted military operations, nor could they be used in that manner. Which is something that certainly cannot be said about the US or its allies.
It’s quite alarming to think that the upcoming 54th Munich Security Conference will once again be unlikely to offer the world any effective arms-control solutions or the establishment of a security system that would be in the interests of all the countries involved.
The Trump administration’s updated Nuclear Posture Review is an extremely negative, aggressive, and explosive document. Its approval will dramatically complicate the global strategic scenario, undermine international stability.
Moscow is still prepared to hold an honest and substantive dialog with the US in order to allay any concerns over arms control, which would include any misgivings related to the INF Treaty.