Duma Prepares to sign New START

Posted: January 14, 2011 in Songs of Space and Nuclear War
Tags: , , , , ,

The Duma, dominated by Putin’s United Russia party, is finalizing its ‘interpretation’ of New START.

The Duma’s amendments will allow Russian withdrawal from the treaty should Putin tell them to do so Russia feel threatened by missile defenses, NATO, or military deployments.  From Reuters regarding the state-of-play:

In approving the treaty, the U.S. Senate ordered Obama to seek talks with Moscow within a year on cutting the former Cold War foes’ arsenals of shorter-range tactical nuclear weapons, whose numbers are lopsided in Russia’s favor.

(Russian Foreign Minister) Lavrov cast a shadow over those hopes by signaling for the second straight day that cuts beyond those to be made under New START cannot be expected in the near term.

Lavrov, Putin, United Russia, the Duma, and the Russian state have what they want.  Don’t expect any arms control breakthroughs on tactical nuclear weapons.  More likely is intermediate range missile regression when Russia can no longer ignore China’s non-intercontinental ballistic missile superiority.

  1. Coyote says:

    Wait! Now that the Russians have a numerical weapons advantage… they are going to just give up on arms control???

    • Space Wonk says:

      Yeah, that’s the drill. Get what you want and call game over, move the goalposts, or otherwise redefine the situation to sustain it in the configuration you prefer.

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