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Russian “Avangard” and “Poseidons” quickly cleared Washington’s ears

After a visual demonstration of the latest weapons of the Russian Federation overseas, it seems that they in teh West have changed their minds about “stoking” the START-3 Treaty.

The United States may extend the Treaty on Measures to Further Reduce and Limit Strategic Offensive Arms (START; START-3). This was stated by Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale. However, Washington intends to expand the number of participants in this agreement by including China. And also expand the range of weapons that are subject to restrictions.

– We do not exclude the extension of the START Treaty, but our priority is to promote an arms control regime that goes beyond the narrow bilateral approach by connecting other countries, in particular China, as well as including a wider range of weapons, including non-strategic nuclear weapons, – stressed the diplomat.

In turn, and US Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Non-Proliferation Christopher Ford noted that American experts are really studying the issue of extending the START.

– We are working hard on these issues and hope to be able to say more about this soon, – he said. According to Ford, “the time has come to develop new arms control regimes, since there is a danger of a nuclear arms race between Russia, China and the United States.”

Recall that START-3 was signed in 2010, and expires in February 2021. Moreover, it can be extended for no more than five years (that is, until 2026) by mutual agreement of the parties. It is noteworthy that today the document remains the only valid treaty between Russia and the United States on arms limitation. Earlier, the United States withdrew from another treaty, most important for the international security system, on limiting medium- and shorter-range missiles (INF). Former US National Security Advisor to the President John Bolton then made it clear that START-3 was also unlikely to be extended, since from the point of view of Washington it has significant flaws. Russia has repeatedly stated that it is ready to discuss the extension of the contract. But not too upset in the event of termination of his action. At the same time, Moscow has repeatedly called on Washington not to delay the issue of the possibility of extending the agreement

Earlier, US President Donald Trump announced the desire to work out a new trilateral nuclear Russian-American-Chinese agreement. However, in Beijing this idea has long been rejected.

  • Actually, this is the old position of the USA, – recalls Gevorg Mirzayan, assistant professor of political science at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation.
  • They have long said that any arms limitation treaty is holding America back. And that to preserve the agreements, China must be included in them. Like, without including China, treaties are not viable.

Of course, China does not need this. The Chinese do not want to restrain themselves by any such restrictions – on the contrary, they have relied on building up strategic forces. And the Americans understand that. And still set the conditions. Partly because they want to remove the shackles from their foreign policy under the Chinese “mute”. Trump said that his foreign policy is based on force and the threat of the use of force. So it is necessary that nothing interferes with this power to demonstrate.

  • And do we really need this agreement?
  • Of course, Russia should not be killed for the extension of the contract. You need to understand that no matter what compromises we offer, little depends on us here. Sino-US relations are decisive here. As well as the essence of American foreign policy.
  • At first glance, it seems strange to think that the behavior of a world superpower can be determined by a banal fright, – notes Yury Selivanov, a military-political observer for the News Front news agency.
  • But in this case, I believe that this is not far from the truth. Americans are practical people. And they used to believe not in words, but in irrefutable facts. Just such a fact, «weighty, rude, visible» was presented on the eve of the official American delegation in the form of the latest Russian strategic missile system Avangard with a hypersonic maneuvering warhead.

And then it seemed to them that it finally came to their conclusion that they were not “Putin cartoons”, but a new and extremely gloomy military-strategic reality for America. The main essence of which is the almost complete defenselessness of the United States against the latest Russian weapons. Which, in the event of its full operational deployment, will be able to guaranteedly and irresponsibly destroy this country. With political necessity, of course.

Soldiers and speculators have united and are playing their game against the country’s population

Awareness of this fact does not contribute to Washington’s withdrawal from START-3. The Russians have already shown that in a regime free of agreements, they can present even more powerful force arguments to America. That is exactly what happened, by the way, after the arrogant US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty. In Russia, such systems of mobile and stationary anti-missile weapons (S-500, A-235) have been developed that can very significantly weaken the strength of the American first strike. The USA has no analogues yet.

In the event of the termination of START-3, the same consequences are possible. The Americans are fully aware of this. Therefore, they are now more than ever stimulated to prolong START-3. Or to agree on the next contract of the same level. In order to try, within its framework and during the negotiation process, to minimize (and even better – to zero) all Russian military-technical advantages in the field of strategic nuclear forces.

– The United States wants to connect China. Does China need this? They already wanted to include him in the INF Treaty, but he was not eager.

– As they say in Russia, dreaming is not harmful. The possibilities of American pressure on the largest military powers in the world today are very limited. And they continue to decline. China has already made it clear that Washington’s attempts to fit into the contractual framework, that is, actually destroy its medium-range missile weapons, which form the basis of the PLA’s strategic potential, are completely unsuitable for it. And this potential includes, by the way, the latest anti-ship ballistic missiles, which pose a serious threat to American aircraft carriers.

Now Washington is trying to impose roughly the same thing on China in the format of an expanded treaty on strategic offensive arms. But there is no doubt that Beijing will agree to participate in such agreements no sooner than its strategic offensive forces reach the proportions that seem optimal for this country, taking into account the potentials of the Russian Federation and the United States. In other words, the chances of expanding the membership of the negotiating club at the expense of China are minimal in the near future.

– What broader range of weapons can we talk about? What else do they want to limit or ban?

– Ideally, the US always wants to ban everything that they don’t like. And the saddest thing is that they have relevant experience in this regard. It is enough to recall how Washington, taking advantage of the unscrupulousness of the Soviet leadership of the time of Gorbachev, forced our country to unilaterally withdraw troops from Eastern Europe, where during the Second World War, at the cost of the lives of hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers, a powerful strategic defensive line was created against Western aggression. And now, as a result of those essentially treacherous decisions, these territories have become the front lines for the deployment of the armed forces of the NATO bloc against Russia.

Do not forget about unequal arms reductions under the same INF Treaty. And about the Soviet operational-tactical complex OTR-23 “Oka”, which did not fall under any agreements and, nevertheless, destroyed by order of Gorbachev in response to the urgent request of the Americans.

Therefore, there can be no doubt that the United States will try to push our positions in the arms control talks as deep as possible this time. In order to achieve maximum benefits for yourself. And weaken Russia’s strategic deterrence potential. These are not just my assumptions, but specific formulations of the American position, voiced at the level of the Pentagon’s highest ranks. In particular – the head of the Strategic Command (STRATK) of the US Armed Forces (General) General John Hayten.

According to Heiten, the START Treaty also provides for the possibility of considering in the Bilateral Consultative Commission established to implement the treaty the issues of development by the parties of “new strategic weapons.”

  • I have not seen this happen. We [Americans] see that they [the Russians] are developing capacity beyond the scope of this treaty. It causes me concern, – the general noted.

He cited such developments in Russia as, for example, the uninhabited underwater vehicle Poseidon. The creation of these systems by Russia was announced last spring by President Vladimir Putin. And immediately, American authorities began to attempt to bring these latest Russian strike systems under the influence of the START Treaty.

As Heiten confirmed, the United States would like to see such developments in Russia also covered by some arms control treaties.

– We would like all nuclear weapons to be part of a future strategic arms treaty, – stressed the head of STRATCOM.

Moreover, the talk, for sure, will go not only about the strategic offensive arms systems, but also about the INF, on which the USA also does not give up hopes to impose its will on the Russian Federation. In particular, they would very much like to “sew” the advanced Russian OTRK 9K720 Iskander to the future INF Treaty in order to deprive the Russian army of this key operational-tactical missile weapon system, which is not subject to any treaties.

– Do we need to compromise to extend the contract at any cost?

– Compromise compromise discord. And it is necessary to distinguish between mutual concessions that are quite possible in the course of negotiations, not related to the emergence of critical threats, to a random retreat in the face of the enemy. The natural and, in fact, the only “red line” in this area is obviously the guaranteed military security of Russia. And the most correct line of conduct for the Russian Federation is the exclusion of any threats related to attempts by the West to upset the military balance acceptable to us.

We, as they say, have already stifled a policy of unilateral concessions in this area. And the most serious consequences for the country. Given the existence of such a sad historical experience, I have a reasonable hope that Russia will not come on the same “rake” a second time. And we will no longer have traitorous ministers like Shevardnadze, who subsequently cynically admitted that he did everything possible to quickly destroy the Soviet Union.

And do not build infantile illusions that the USSR for the West is one thing, and the Russian Federation is another. For our western “partners” we are, first of all, Russia. And until our country is finally destroyed, the West will not calm down.

– There is little time left to extend the document under discussion. Will we manage to reach an agreement? And is it worth the rush?

– Of course, one should not rush to the detriment of the quality of the negotiation product. Too expensive can be the price of such haste.

For example, the same INF Treaty was signed at the time without taking into account the threat of a massive deployment by the Americans of sea-based medium-range missiles. As a result, today we have on our shores a huge American fleet crammed with thousands of Tomahawks. More such “stocks” cannot be allowed.

As for the time remaining until 2021, if there is political goodwill on both sides (and not just the stubborn desire of the United States to impose its conditions on Russia), it is quite enough to reach new agreements. Or to renew existing ones. Moreover, Russia, with its latest weapons systems, greatly contributes to Washington’s desire to negotiate. Moscow has already shown its Western counterparts that if the treaty framework is completely annulled, it can go even further ahead and make the US military-strategic lag fatally irreversible. So I, in the place of Washington strategists, would not in vain tease the “Russian bear”.

According to Mikhail Neizhmakov, a leading analyst at the Agency for Political and Economic Communications, there is a very influential lobby in the United States for extending the agreement, including prominent representatives of the opposition Trump Democratic Party.

– Recall that not so long ago, the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives of the Congress, Eliot Engel, and the famous senator Robert Menendez addressed the extension of the agreement. If there is no progress in this direction in the election year 2020 (it is not for nothing that the politicians mentioned in their letter noted that “the administration did not give us sufficient confidence that efforts are actively being made in this direction” or any other “), of course, will be one of the reasons for more intense criticism of the current owner of the White House.

At the same time, the Trump team may also try to beat the delay in these negotiations for election purposes – refusal to renew the contract or promise to renew it in a more favorable format for the United States is an acceptable background for discussing additional investments in updating American arsenals. It is not without reason that opponents of the START Treaty in the United States deliberately focus on the need to modernize the corresponding arsenals and infrastructure.

And this, in turn, gives Trump the opportunity to attract additional votes in states with a significant concentration of defense industry enterprises (and among them there are also fluctuating states that are significant for the outcome of the presidential race).

Often, vague statements by parties commenting on the prospects for negotiations speak precisely of the intensity of the coordination of positions. Nevertheless, it is likely that the Trump team just counts on prolonging the period of uncertainty on this issue.

That is – in the coming months, we are likely to continue to observe conflicting statements by the White House regarding this issue.

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