Going Nuclear: Russia warns U.S. to ratify arms treaty

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned that the country would find it necessary to build up its nuclear forces, if the United State’s doesn’t ratify a new arms reduction treaty. That could possibly mean a new craze for nuclear weaponry.

The treaty, called New START, was worked out earlier this year amid praises that it marked a renewed spirit of cooperation between Washington and Moscow. However, many Republicans in the U.S. Senate are expressing reluctance to ratify it. Putin, in an interview to be broadcast Wednesday on the CNN television channel, said that if the treaty is not ratified, “we’ll have to react somehow including deploying new nuclear technology,” reported the Associated Press.

the two leaders

 In clips of an interview posted on CNN’s website, Putin says the treaty is in the United States’ best interests and it would take “a very dumb nature” for legislators to ignore that.

The Jerusalem Post noted that Putin’s comments came a day after President Dmitry Medvedev made a similar warning to the West on another defense issue, NATO’s proposal to build a European missile defense system. Russia has been invited to participate in the system, but substantial questions remain, including whether Russia would be an equal partner with the Western alliance.

“In the next 10 years, the following alternatives await us – either we reach agreement on missile defense and create a full joint cooperation mechanism, or, if we don’t reach a constructive agreement, a new phase of the arms race will begin,” Medvedev said Tuesday in his annual address to both houses of parliament. “And we will have to make a decision on deploying new means of attack,” he added.

President Barack Obama has insisted that completion of the treaty is a national security imperative as it would reduce the limits on strategic warheads held by the United States and Russia to 1,550 for each country from the current level of 2,200 and would establish a system so each country could inspect and verify the other’s arsenal.

Many observed that Putin and Medvedev’s speeches revived the rhetoric of the Cold War. According to Anatoly Salutsky, a Russian writer, in the past, the United States indirectly used the arms race to divide the USSR and ruin its economy. From his point of view, the U.S. did not forget about that triumph. And now that Russia is regaining its influence in  world politics, Washington’s hawks once again have decided to play the same card. But Russia has changed. And the investing into the military industry could contribute to the country’s economic progress, not stop it.

A new arms race could just be at the corner.

“Actually, the strategic arms race is possible. Russia, of course, will have to put more effort, but there is no fundamental incapability not to build the strategic delivery systems neither from the financial, nor from the production points of view,” wrote Mikhail Barabanov, editor of Arms Export Magazine, .

A famous Russian Nobel prize winning physicist, Jaures Alferov, gave a simple and clear formula on how Russia should behave in a relationship with the U.S. and other developed countries.

He said the country should always be at the peak of technological development. The academician recalled the words of a famous American economist who was sorry the Cold War ended since the USSR and the U.S competition contributed to the science progress.  Science is an area in which we can and must compete, Alferov summarized.

Another Russian academician, Nikolai Laverov, pointed out that although Russia and the United States have some disagreements, they objectively have common interests too, such as
participation in the joint protection of the planet.

Mikhail Titarenko, the director of the Institute of the Far East, showed how disagreements on certain issues can be no obstacle to productive cooperation. He noted that although China advocates for a multi-polar world, it does not prevent it from holding a nearly one trillion dollars of U.S. bonds. China could be a good example of a country’s ability not to give up its positions and to cooperate with other countries at the same time.

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