In a meeting with the permanent members of the Russian Security Council on Feb. 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the US President Joe Biden’s decision to extend the Treaty on Remedies. Strategic weapons to further reduce and limit weapons (new START).
|US-Russia considers renewing the New START necessary but not for bilateral relations?|
“We recently renewed the Treaty on Measures to further reduce and limit strategic offensive weapons, the new START, with US partners. We have long proposed this to our partners. US We are pleased to note that the new administration has adhered to their campaign promises on this issue. We welcome this issue, “said Putin.
At the meeting, the leader proposed “speaking on other steps to stop an arms race and in general arms control.”
On the same day, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov also spoke highly of the efforts of the Biden administration to immediately renew the New START unconditionally after taking the helm of the country.
“It should be emphasized that there are no questions and that there are no concessions by either party. We are sure that the general decision to extend the treaty made by our countries is in good faith. their national interests, “he said.
According to Deputy Ryabkov, “the need for mutual predictability and transparency in the area of strategic offensive weapons” will be maintained in relations between Russia and the US for the foreseeable future thanks to that step. .
“This in itself is of primary importance for enhancing international security and strategic stability,” he stressed.
According to the Washington-based non-profit Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), Mr. Biden’s rapid renewal of the New START signals the US administration to choose to be ready to reduce nuclear risks.
“This important step sends an unmistakable signal about the Biden administration’s commitment to taking practical steps to consolidate America’s national security and mitigate nuclear risks. New START Expansion. provides critical foundation to rebuild global weapon control architecture to enhance stability and mitigate threats posed by nuclear weapons “- NTI’s leader stated in a statement .
However, according to expert Ivan Timofeev, Project Director of the Russian Council on International Affairs (RIAC), the renewal of New START is very important and a positive step, but will not create a revolution in the Russia-US relationship, nor will it help the two sides resolve conflicts that exist in many other fields.
However, the maintenance of New START does not help reduce the risk of a nuclear arms race because the treaty covers only a few segments of nuclear weapons such as strategic weapons, intercontinental ballistic missiles. Submarine-launched missiles, strategic bombers. The treaty does not cover medium- and short-range missiles that can also carry nuclear warheads. Although the Soviet Union and the US signed the Treaty of Central Nuclear Forces (INF), the US withdrew from the treaty in 2019.
In fact, an arms race in missile defense has been around since 2002, and for nearly 20 years there has been no treaty regulating these activities. Besides, the world is also witnessing an arms race in the field of conventional weapons. In the past, Europe has built a treaty to limit conventional weapons, with the scope of tanks, armored vehicles, infantry fighting vehicles, artillery … However, this treaty also expire.
Regarding the implementation of New START in the near future, expert Ivan Timofeev believes that the treaty will continue to be implemented seriously, because Russia and the US generally comply with their obligations with a cautious attitude.
External factors such as Iran’s nuclear program or the Korean nuclear issue are of a completely different nature and generally do not affect the implementation of New START in the near future.
According to him, the variable may appear if the US insists on China must participate in drafting the new agreement. Beijing has repeatedly said that it is not interested in negotiating the text. China wants to have nuclear weapons, but will not allow inspectors to access and check the defense industry or the number of missiles with warheads, … on their territory. China has also asserted its stance that it does not care about any binding agreement on denuclearization, whether strategic or medium to short-range weapons.
The Americans want Russia to persuade China to join the New START, but Russia wants the US to negotiate directly with China. Five years is not too long to negotiate such a strategic treaty. Meanwhile, the United States will still work to involve as many countries as possible, including India, into the containment of China, possibly on the basis of a free and broad Indo-Pacific strategy. open. Therefore, the Sino-US conflict is likely to increase.
Forecast on the prospect of Russia-US relations, expert Ivan Timofeev said that the two sides agreed to extend the New START did not create a clear motivation for a comprehensive reinstallation of Russia-US relations, and neither did lead to a certain revolution in the bilateral relationship.
The US and Russia will not be able to find a way to resolve conflicts and disagreements anytime soon on a wide range of bilateral issues, from the Ukraine crisis, the Middle East issue to internal interference and cyberattacks. … because these are separate issues. Ivan Timofeev said that after Donald Trump’s tenure, now is probably the time to “heal” Russia-US relations.
The current Biden administration is likely to make more sober and cautious judgments compared to Trump’s time regarding allegations of “collusion with Russia” and “Putin’s henchmen”.