As President Vladimir Putin exploits the results of Crimea's illegitimate referendum and as Russian troops gather on Ukraine's eastern border, alarms have been raised in the West that U.S.-Russian relations are on the verge of plummeting to Cold War levels.
The United States said Russia may have breached a landmark arms control accord by testing a new cruise missile, but has not concluded that Russia violated the treaty.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said an agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program would remove the justification for NATO missile defenses.
Cancellation of the planned fourth phase of the European Phased Adaptive Approach has removed any capability that the fully deployed system would have had to intercept Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles but does not diminish the system’s capability against Iranian missiles.
Despite public friction over several issues between Russia and the United States, including the postponement of an upcoming presidential meeting, high-level discussions on nuclear arms reductions and missile defense are continuing, according to senior officials on both sides.
Moscow said that it would not sign a U.S. draft agreement to extend the landmark Nunn-Lugar program to dismantle and protect former Soviet weapons of mass destruction. The United States hopes to extend the agreement, which expires next year.
As part of its declared effort to respond to U.S.-NATO plans to field missile interceptors in eastern Europe by 2020, Russia said in September that it would deploy a new “heavy” intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in 2018.
The Department of Defense is responding to congressional criticism of its purchase of helicopters from a Russian firm that also is supplying arms to the Syrian government, saying the aircraft are central to U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and have qualities that the alternatives do not
Oliver Meier is a senior researcher at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg and international representative of the Arms Control Association. Paul Ingram is executive director of the British American Security Information Council. The authors would like to thank the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for its support, which made research for this article possible.
Russia is back under the nuclear warhead limit of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), according to the third data exchange with the United States under the treaty.
The press recently reported that the Pentagon is preparing options for President Barack Obama as part of the Nuclear Posture Review implementation study. The mere notion of restructuring U.S. nuclear forces unleashed panicked reactions from Capitol Hill’s most ardent nuclear weapons enthusiasts.
Russia and the United States could conclude verification arrangements by the end of the year for their agreement on disposition of surplus weapons plutonium, a U.S. official said last month.