As it was expected, the US’s withdrawal from the ABM Treaty gave birth to lots of problems on a diplomatic scene so far, but more problems may come in the future. The other day the US administration reported its plans to reduce the nuclear stocks from 7 000 to 1 700 nuclear war-heads.
It is evident, the decision is designed for smoothing of the negative effect caused by the withdrawal from the ABM Treaty. But, as became known, the reduction will be not practical, but a nominal one: the nuclear war-heads removed from missiles will be kept at the storehouse. Then a question arises: what is the use of such a reduction ? In fact, the USA will keep its arsenal. At the same time Russia has already published its intention to reduce the strategic offensive armaments to 2 000 war-heads, under the condition of mutual agreement with the USA. It looks as though Bush’s administration doubts that Russia is sincere about it. Or has a new powerful enemy, who is unknown to the world community, appeared ?
Daily Telegraph reports, US’s action serves as a negative example for other nuclear powers, such as Great Britain, France, Russia, China, India and Pakistan. How are these countries to react to the decision of the United States ? Nobody knows the answer so far. But it is probable, the nuclear armament will not reduce, but increase, if not in Russia and the USA, then in other countries.
Perhaps, this is the reason why the US administration has sent one more proposal to Russia’s leadership. RosBusinessConsulting news agency informs, the US authorities recommend Russia to create its own missile defense system. An official from the US Department of Defense thinks, Russia’s missile defense system could secure Russian-American military forces during joint peacekeeping operations. This statement can be considered as a manifestation of a free will from the US administration. Even Russia’s complex economic situation is taken into consideration at that, because the system offered is to be not so global and expensive, as the USA plans to create for itself, but sufficient enough to secure forces of the two countries during their joint peacekeeping operations.
It is not clear in this case, what kind of joint operations are meant. President Putin, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov told several times that Russia would participate in humanitarian actions only. And any missile defense system will hardly be required for such operations.
Besides, unlike Washington, Russia cares about opinions of other countries: reactions of China and India are important for Russia if it accepts the proposition of the USA. Their reactions are more likely to be negative.
The way the USA suggests, has no future. As a result of it any country that holds necessary reserves will aim at creation of a missile defense system of its own. Then all arrangements on reduction of offensive armament will be of no sense at all.
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/01/11/35489.html
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated