Russia’s concession and US response to “unexpected progress” in Russian US arms control talks

Russia’s “businessman” published an article entitled “re freezing, Russia’s unexpected move on key nuclear arms control” on October 21, written by Yelena chernianko. According to the article, Russia eased its stance on freezing its nuclear arsenals, and the United States responded enthusiastically. However, arms control experts of the two countries have speculated on the reasons behind it and the future direction, Excerpts from the full text are as follows: < / P > < p > the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on the 20th, which surprised the arms control experts of Russia and the United States. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Moscow is ready to extend the START treaty for one year, and at the same time, it will share with Washington the political obligation to “freeze” the number of existing nuclear warheads of both sides during this period. Russian officials had earlier called the request to freeze the entire nuclear arsenal “unacceptable.”. It is understood that the decision to ease the position was made by the Kremlin. Just two days ago, the negotiation between Russia and the United States on the extension of the arms control treaty gave people the feeling of being stranded. One year after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed an unconditional extension of the treaty, Robert O’Brien, assistant to the US president for national security affairs, tweeted that the idea was “doomed to failure.”. < / P > < p > the intention to extend the Treaty for one year, rather than the five years allowed by the treaty itself, is a concession to the trump administration. The U.S. authorities have already hinted that they don’t want to extend the Treaty for five years because they think it’s better for Russia. Earlier, Moscow said that Washington’s request to “freeze” all nuclear arsenals as a condition of the treaty’s extension was “unacceptable.”. Now we have also made major concessions to the US side. < p > < p > < p > two sources in the business man insist that this is not a major change in position. “We are just expressing our willingness to freeze our nuclear arsenals for a year, that is, at the same time as the treaty is extended and a new agreement will be drawn up,” one said. If, during this period, our other concerns are not taken into account as they should be, they will certainly not be extended. ” < / P > < p > another source drew attention to the fact that Russia “clearly demarcated its boundaries.”. The statement of the foreign ministry said that “the US side shall not make any additional demands” for the freezing of warheads. This means that Russia is not ready to strengthen or expand verification measures as required by the United States in recent months. The < / P > < p > statement drew another “red line”: “the time gained by the extension of the treaty could be used for systematic bilateral negotiations on future nuclear control.” The foothold is that the negotiations should be bilateral, which is contrary to the US demand that “China must join the negotiation process” in the near future. However, Russian experts still see many “hidden reefs” from the change of position. “Russia’s proposal is an interesting compromise. It does not expand its arsenal, but it does not have verification, which frees Russia from any special constraints and avoids the expiration of the treaty in February 2021,” said Andre baklitsky, senior researcher at the Institute of International Studies at the Moscow Institute of international relations. But in Washington, this will certainly be seen as a victory in the US diplomatic operation, leading to more demands and new pressure. ” Dmitry stefanovich, a researcher at the center for international security, Institute of world economy and international relations, Russian Academy of Sciences, does not rule out the possibility that the United States will not accept the proposal or put forward new requirements, but he believes that this will highlight the constructive nature of Russia’s position. However, the US side responded warmly to the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry. A spokesman for the US State Department said that the United States “attaches importance to Russia’s willingness to make progress in the field of arms control”. The spokesman said US negotiators are ready to “meet immediately with their Russian counterparts” to complete the “verifiable agreement.”. < / P > < p > < p > “verifiable” is clearly not an accident here, which means that the United States is not ready to give up the requirement of strengthening and expanding verification. It also means that the negotiations on the extension of the new START treaty are likely to remain negative. However, Gans Christensen, director of the nuclear information program of the American Federation of scientists, does not rule out the possibility of trump accepting this “gift”, because any foreign policy victory is very important to trump. According to Moscow / Washington, October 20, Reuters reported that the new strategic arms reduction treaty, which is about to expire, has a positive momentum of one-year extension on the 20th. However, some experts say there are some major issues that need to be addressed in order to reach an agreement, and have expressed concern that US President trump is only interested in this matter because he wants to achieve a foreign policy achievement before the November 3 presidential election. A statement issued by the U.S. State Department highlighted one of the issues that both sides must address if they want to extend the START treaty for a year: how do both sides verify that the other side has complied with the requirement to freeze the number of nuclear warheads. According to the report, the Treaty can be extended for up to five years if the president of the United States and the president of Russia agree. The extension of the treaty will be a rare bright spot in tense US Russian relations. Without an extension, the main pillars of the nuclear balance between the two countries will no longer exist.