At the talks between the US and Russia on strategic stability, which will take place on July 17 in Swiss Geneva, the American side intends to discuss the possibility of concluding a new agreement on the limitation of nuclear weapons. Which is proposed to extend also to China, which is absent from the negotiations. This was reported on the eve of Reuters by referring to senior White House officials.
Recall: the first round of consultations on arms control with the participation of deputy foreign ministries of Russia and the United States was held on June 12 in Prague. Russia (both then and now) is represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov. The United States is the first Assistant Secretary of State John Sullivan. Earlier this was Andrea Thompson, Pompeo s right hand on the Arms Control and International Security. Thus, it can be said that the level of the American delegation is increased.
According to Ryabkov, he expects that at a meeting in Geneva, it will be possible to launch a structured dialogue process on arms control. Including – under the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms (START).
However, Reuters sources made it clear that the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-3), which expires in February 2021, will not be discussed. Washington considers it to be premature to talk about it, calling this question “the problem of the next year.”
As for the preservation of the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF), even here, as it turns out, the American side does not expect a “breakthrough”. In essence, the Americans are interested in getting, as one of the US administration officials admitted, to receive at this meeting “more clarity on how Russia relates to the issue of China’s participation in the new nuclear agreement.
Actually, President Trump in October 2018, barely announcing plans to leave the INF Treaty, admitted the possibility of concluding a “new generation” contract with the participation of Washington, Moscow and Beijing. In April of this year, he developed the topic. Stating that the United States, China and Russia should get rid of nuclear weapons.
But neither then nor now Beijing appreciated the initiative of the American leader. China does not intend to discuss the idea of a trilateral treaty on nuclear weapons with the United States and Russia, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Gen Shuang. Noting that he sees “no reason or preconditions for China’s participation in such discussions.” The diplomat stressed that “Russia has also repeatedly expressed its understanding regarding China’s position on this issue.”
It turns out that the new “nuclear deal” that Trump is seeking to conclude is deliberately doomed to failure.
- The Chinese are smart people, – commented Mikhail Alexandrov, a leading expert at the Center for Military-Political Research at MGIMO.
- Why should they join this deal?
All of these treaties, which were concluded during the Brezhnev-Gorbachev period, ultimately led to the surrender of the Soviet Union to the United States. And now, considering these documents already from the height of a historical retrospective, you understand that their value is very doubtful.
Therefore, the charm of these treaties, which our elite has developed, is erroneous. There is no benefit from them.
The Chinese just see that there is no use. And what this can play against them. Because now they are developing a defense strategy as they see fit – the most effective and least expensive.
If the agreement is concluded, then, firstly, they will have to adapt to certain conditions, deprive themselves of any types of weapons that are beneficial to China. On the other hand, they must allow inspections. These inspections lead to their military potential being revealed. But it is important for Beijing to maintain strategic uncertainty. This gives China advantages. Especially in conditions when they are weaker than the United States militarily.
That is, the United States does not know the real capabilities of China – in some sense it restrains the Americans. What if the Chinese have better systems? What if they have more of them?
– There is such an admiral Harris (now he is serving as US ambassador to the Republic of Korea), who in 2017 stated that the restrictions of the INF Treaty gave China a huge advantage over the United States. Moreover, according to Harris, about 90% of Chinese ballistic and cruise missiles fall on medium- and short-range missiles. That is, it is the basis of the potential of the army of the PRC. And Beijing will not abandon them under any circumstances. Do you agree with this?
– Yes, China in general will not agree to any agreements with the United States. It is unprofitable for them – I repeat – from the point of view of ensuring their own security. That is, if we have the Brezhnev and Gorbachev leaders thought, as they said then, “about world peace” and, to a much lesser extent, about their own country and its security, then the Chinese only bake themselves. The fact that they benefit and useful. And if they consider that they do not need this agreement, they will not agree to any agreements. Therefore this Trump initiative is stillborn.
And it seems to me that this is such a special move – under the specious pretext to create the appearance that the Americans themselves, as they say, “for peace and friendship.” And the Chinese are bad, they do not give the opportunity to conclude such a wonderful agreement.
That is, apparently, the argument of the United States, supposedly the newest Russian rocket “Innovator” flies further than up to 500 km, is not effective enough to justify its exit from the INF Treaty. Therefore, they are now dragged China here. And they want us to use pressure on China as leverage. As “apprentices”.
– Actually, in the States they don’t hide that they only want to see our reaction to their proposal in Geneva.
– They used to use us. Remember when the USA launched an operation in Afghanistan – and we ran to negotiate with the Northern Alliance?
We helped States create an air bridge to Afghanistan. And most importantly, they supported the Northern Alliance so that it acted together with the Americans. Armed it aditionally.
It turned out that we ourselves blamed the road for the Americans in Afghanistan, where they now settled very solidly. And they pose a threat to us in Central Asia.
Now they have withdrawn from the treaty with Iran. And again they are trying to use us as apprentices. So that we can persuade Tehran to stick to the agreement and not enrich uranium.
They came out, and Iran must adhere to … And we must assume this function.
With North Korea, the same thing – they demand from us to impose sanctions against Pyongyang and stop our beneficial economic cooperation.
Well, and now in Geneva they are trying to use us to pressure China. In fact, they want to embroil Russia with China. Because if we start saying that Beijing is doing the wrong thing, the Chinese will decide that we are unreliable partners.
– Americans themselves are unreliable partners. It is enough to remember how famously they tear up all the agreements if something stops arranging them … What is the point of talking to them about anything at all?
– Americans are unreliable partners. This is true. And we are now considered the Chinese reliable. But if we continue to behave this way, as with Iran, they will begin to doubt us. That is the difference.
Americans do not pretend to be reliable. Do what they want. That is why the Chinese are not going to conclude various agreements with them.
So, I believe that we, by and large, do not need this contract. We, on the contrary, it is beneficial that it does not exist. And we could deploy a huge number of medium-range ballistic missiles that can, if necessary, hit the main bases and centers of NATO in Europe. This will be a powerful deterrent against NATO.
Not nuclear missiles – I, in general, against nuclear missiles. But we really need high-precision rockets in ordinary equipment in Europe.
– Why is Trump so worried about the capabilities of Chinese missiles and not at all concerned about the capabilities of France and the UK, which also have nuclear potential? Or, say, the same Israel, India and Pakistan?
– Because China is a potential adversary for them. Australia and France are allies.
On START-3, London and Paris have the traditional position: “We have the minimum number of nuclear warheads. Why do we have to join? ”Therefore, they will never join this treaty. But we, by the way, also need to take into account their potential.
Why do we still need medium-range missiles?
We need to compensate for the strategic potential of France and England. We are reducing parity with the Americans. But if you add England and France, then they already have – NATO – a clear superiority. They are allies.
Now, if we have a lot of medium-range missiles, then we level this advantage on the continent. So, we do not need a treaty on medium and shorter range missiles.
We already need to stop thinking about the negotiations that have only brought harm to the country. We must develop our own nuclear deterrence system ourselves, as we see fit. Do not overdo it – to have reasonable sufficiency. Do what is cheaper and more profitable.
Why, for example, do we have many intercontinental missiles, when the main goals are in Europe? We can do with a smaller number of intercontinental missiles. Save on this.
That is, everything should be from a military-technical point of view, and from an economic point of view. And do not even hide how many rockets we have. Let them know that we have, say, two or three thousand rockets. This is enough for us. And we will no longer do more. In the arms race we should not participate and we do not want.