US State Department Gets Above Itself Again

The US State Department released its Report on Adherence and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments. The report states that Russia has violated a number of international agreements, particularly the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

The report has been prepared at the request of seven Republican Senators, member of the committee for international affairs. They repeatedly set out their doubts about the need to ratify the new START Treaty, signed by Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama in April of this year. The senators asked experts to investigate if Russia violated its obligations of the START-1 Treaty from 1991 and other international agreements.

"Despite the successful fulfillment of START on the whole, several issues of its observance (by Moscow) remained unsettled until the treaty expired on December 5, 2009," the report said.

US experts claimed that Russia blocks inspections of mobile missile systems. The specialists also disliked the fact that Russia had not provided telemetric data of RS-24 ballistic missile test launches to the United States.

Furthermore, the US government does not believe that Russia executes the Chemical Weapons Convention.

"Russia has completed destruction of its CWPFs (Chemical Weapons Production Facilities) scheduled for destruction, but has not met the CWPF conversion deadline," the report said.

"In the absence of additional information from Russia, the United States is unable to ascertain whether Russia has declared all of its CW stockpile, all CWPFs, and all of its CW development facilities," Russia Today quoted the report.

In addition, the Americans set out their concerns about Russia's execution of the Conventional Arms Treaty in Europe from 1999. They claimed that Russia had not pulled out its troops from Transdniestria and deployed army bases in South Ossetia and Abkhazia without Georgia's consent.

The report was handed over to the Congress. The Washington Post wrote that the Republican Senators could use the report to hinder the ratification of the new START Treaty. At least two-thirds of votes of the members of the US Senate will be required to put the document in effect. Obama does not have that, and the president will have to make concessions to Republicans to win at least some of them over to his side. If it does not happen, the USA will not ratify the document.

On July 29, Russia's Foreign Ministry released an official statement regarding the publication of the above-mentioned report.

“Without providing any facts, Russia is attributed to those that violate non-proliferation agreements," the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its website on Thursday. "The report contains biased assessments of the compliance of the START treaty by Russia.”

"The report contains biased estimations of Russia's execution of the START Treaty. We would like to remind that the Russian side had taken all necessary measures to eliminate such concerns and the USA had not expressed any claims about the execution of the Treaty at the time the Treaty expired [December 5, 2009]," the statement also runs.

"USA's remarks about Russia's nonobservance of the Conventional Arms Treaty in Europe are far from reality too. The Treaty was no longer viable over the USA's and other NATO members' refusal to ratify the agreement about the adaptation of the Treaty against the background of the ongoing expansion of the alliance," the ministry also said.

As for the claims regarding army bases in Georgia and Moldavia, official spokespeople for Russia's Foreign Ministry stated that Abkhazia and South Ossetia were no longer the territories of Georgia. There are no Russian troops on the territory of Georgia. As for the Transdniestria, Russian peacemakers are deployed there in accordance with the Russian-Moldavian agreement from 1992.

It is worthy of note that Russia was concerned about the way the United States executed its obligations on the START-1 Treaty. Russian inspectors were not allowed to access all objects. Many missile launching systems were not destroyed; warheads were stored in violation of the agreement as well. The Americans were creating the breakout potential, as military men say.

On July 30, Rose Gottemoeller, assistant secretary of state for the verification, compliance and implementation and chief negotiator on the new START treaty, said the State Department is confident that Russia will abide by the new treaty when it is ratified.

"Cheating implies intent to undermine a treaty. There's no history of cheating on the central obligations of START; there's a history of abiding by the treaty," Gottemoeller said.

"Generally the record for the major conventions is a good one. With regard to START, the Russians have been very serious and it has been a success," she said.

This is a bizarre story indeed. On the one hand, US State Department experts seem to be very concerned, whereas assistant secretary of state seems to be satisfied about everything.

“Both in Russia and in the United States there are adversaries of the ratification of the START Treaty. They seem to believe that they set forth new and convincing arguments against this document,” Pavel Zolotarev, an expert with the Institute for the United States and Canada told Pravda.Ru.

Vadim Trukhachev

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov