America pulled out from the 1972 ABM Treaty. There were no scandalous protests from Moscow, as it was expected. They thought the Russian politicians would go mad in that connection, and picture the most dreadful consequences of such a step. But President Putin only said he was not taken by surprise with that decision, although he added it was a wrong decision to make.
Moscow’s calm reaction is explained with the fact that they have been waiting for that in Russia, that is why they were prepared for it. The major idea of the 1972 ABM Treaty is as follows: none of the nuclear super-powers would risk to perform a nuclear strike first, since none of them has an efficient protection for that and the attack of one country would surely mean the inevitable death of both of them. This issue has been a constraining factor for almost 30 years. Times have changed now and the world today is not afraid of the war between Russia and America.
Russia was trying to keep this treaty in effect for a long while, despite America’s objections which claimed that the 1972 Treaty was a Cold war product and therefore, it did not meet the modern requirements. Russia could not agree with that, but it could not find an adequate answer for USA’s withdrawal from the Treaty.
The ratification of the START-2 Treaty was supposed to be a deterrent. The Russian parliament ratified it. In case if the USA violated the 1972 ABM Treaty, then Russia would have an opportunity to pull out not only from the START-2 Treaty, but also from the entire system of agreements. In this case Russia would run the independent policy in the field of the nuclear weapon. Putin declared there would be no single-handed disarmament.
Neither the ratification of the START-2 Treaty, nor Russia’s threats to pull out from the previous agreements convinced America. Washington has not refused from its plans, but the United States has shifted its emphasis towards the negotiations pertaining to the defensive and offensive arms. It was stressed out that USA’s withdrawal from the treaty would never pose a threat to Russia’s security. Bush said that to Putin several times before.
So, yesterday's decision of the head of the American White House drew a line under the long marathon of negotiations between Russia and the US.
The system of relations between Russia and America is something a lot bigger than one certain problem. Both countries have a lot of common strategic objectives, and their cooperation will go on.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov