Russia withdraws offer to freeze nuclear warhead production
Russian president Vladimir Poutine is no longer interested in a joint nuclear weapons production freeze with the United States, according to a senior Russian representative who protested against requests for US inspections and a recent deal to supply nuclear-powered submarines to Australia.
“No, it was a unique offer, and it was said to the United States. They missed the opportunity,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Geneva Center for Security Policy, through state media. “They didn’t want a freeze on all warheads – they wanted extremely intrusive auditing and monitoring at all of our nuclear-related facilities.”
Ryabkov announced the withdrawal of the proposal following a meeting with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman for what the two sides called “intensive and substantial” arms control talks. He complained about the US and UK’s decision to join Australia on a submarine deal widely seen as directed against China, and Russian and US officials have pointed out that he was unlikely that the negotiations would lead to an agreement anytime soon.
“The arms control dialogues take a long time,” Sherman said Friday. “Dialogue has value in itself because it reveals standards in which we believe and which we want to establish as [two nations with the] the greatest number of nuclear weapons, so that’s very good on its own.
The Ryabkov-Sherman meeting comes months after President Joe Biden’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, when the two leaders echoed Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev’s claim that “a nuclear war cannot be won and should never be conducted ”. This joint statement drew criticism from Marshall Billingslea, former President Donald Trump’s leading arms control man, who observed that Putin “believes nuclear war CAN be fought and won” and blamed to Biden for making a declaration while “knowing that Putin is lying”.
Russia has adopted a military doctrine that contemplates the use of nuclear weapons to win a conflict in Eastern Europe before US forces can intervene, Western officials say, prompting at least one NATO ally to warn publicly that Russia could launch a nuclear attack. “blitzkrieg” against one of its neighbors. Trump withdrew the United States from the Reagan-Gorbachev Treaty which banned the development of intermediate-range ground ballistic missiles after Republicans and Democrats, as well as the rest of NATO, assessed that Putin developed and deployed such systems in defiance of the treaty.
Putin recognized in December that an arms race “has already started”, but Ryabkov pleaded a more one-sided case on Friday, when he attributed any tension over arms control to a US quest “for decisive unilateral advantages at the expense of the United States. security of Russia “.
He expanded his complaints about decisions by NATO member states to include US and UK efforts to improve their defenses against Chinese threats.
“We are particularly concerned by statements produced earlier this year in London on the prospects for expanding its nuclear capabilities,” Ryabkov said, referring to a British plan to to augment its nuclear stockpile in response to “China’s military modernization and growing international assertion in the Indo-Pacific region.”
And he maintained that the recent US decision to supply Australia with nuclear-powered submarines is “a great challenge for the international non-proliferation regime” despite the stipulation of Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott. Morrison that the deal will cover nuclear power for submarines but not nuclear weapons. .
U.S. officials have expressed doubts about their ability to strike another arms control deal with Russia, but Sherman and Ryabkov have separately presented the launch of two arms control task forces as a positive step.
“We all hope that we are heading towards achieving certain goals to move forward,” she said.
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Original author: Joel gehrke
Original location: Russia withdraws offer to freeze nuclear warhead production