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Russia

Russia Breaches INF Treaty, U.S. Says

The State Department has accused Russia of testing a new medium-range, ground-launched cruise missile in violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Moscow denies the charge.

Tom Z. Collina

After months of speculation, the U.S. State Department announced in July that it had found Russia to be in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty over Moscow’s testing of a new medium-range, ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM). The accusation comes at a time of heightened U.S.-Russian tensions over Moscow’s support for separatist forces in Ukraine.

“We have been attempting to address this very serious matter with Russia for some time, as the United States is wholly committed to the continued viability of the INF Treaty,” Rose Gottemoeller, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, said Aug. 14. In remarks to a symposium at U.S. Strategic Command in Omaha, Nebraska, she said the Obama administration was “asking Russia to return to compliance with the treaty in a verifiable manner.”

Gottemoeller said that the two countries previously “have been down the road of needless, costly, and destabilizing arms races.” She added, “We know where that road leads and we are fortunate that our past leaders had the wisdom and strength to turn us in a new direction.”

The INF Treaty, signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, marked the first time the two superpowers agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals and utilize extensive on-site inspections for verification. The treaty, which is still in force, eliminated almost 2,700 intermediate-range ballistic and cruise missiles, most of them Russia’s.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by telephone about the INF Treaty on Aug. 1, according to the White House.

According to a July 28 New York Times report, Obama sent Putin a letter that day in which Obama asked for a high-level dialogue with Moscow to discuss ways to preserve the treaty and bring Russia back into compliance.

In an interview in early August, a diplomatic source familiar with the treaty controversy said senior Russian and U.S. officials are expected to meet in September to discuss the issue.

U.S. Allegation Unspecified

The Obama administration alleges that Russia is violating its INF Treaty obligation “not to possess, produce, or flight-test” a GLCM with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers or “to possess or produce launchers of such missiles,” as a State Department report sent to Congress in July summarized it.

At a meeting in early July, the Principals Committee, which includes the national security adviser, the defense secretary, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the secretary of state, and the CIA director, “unanimously agreed” that the cruise missile flight test was a “serious violation,” the Times said. A senior administration official told Arms Control Today on July 29 that the intelligence community has “high confidence” in the assessment.

The State Department report, which surveys compliance with arms control agreements by the United States and other countries, did not specify the type of cruise missile in question or say how many tests have been conducted or when they occurred. The senior administration official said that the testing took place at the Kapustin Yar test site in western Russia. According to the Times story, Russia began testing the cruise missile as early as 2008, and the administration concluded that it was a compliance concern by the end of 2011, although officials do not believe the missile has been deployed. Gottemoeller first raised the issue with Russian officials in May 2013, according to the Times.

Unconfirmed reports have focused on Russia’s R-500 Iskander-K short-range cruise missile as the missile that precipitated the U.S. allegation. That system uses a road-mobile launcher, similar to the Iskander-M, which is a short-range, nuclear-capable ballistic missile. Russia reportedly is deploying the Iskander-M near Luga, south of St. Petersburg, near Russia’s borders with NATO member countries in response to U.S. missile defense plans. (See ACT, January/February 2014.) It is not clear if the range of the R-500 exceeds the lower limit of the INF Treaty.

In the August interview, the diplomatic source said that according to the United States, the R-500 is not the focus of the allegation. That appears to be consistent with other available information on the allegation and the history of the R-500. According to the Times report, the GLCM considered to be a violation was first tested in 2008 and has not been deployed. The R-500 reportedly was first tested in May 2007 and deployed in 2013.

At an April 29 congressional hearing, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) offered an alternative explanation of the nature of the alleged violation and the platform involved. He said that Russia claims to have tested a new intermediate-range missile for use at sea, which is allowed under the INF Treaty if the missile is tested from a test launcher, but that Moscow used “what appears to be an operational, usable ground-based launcher,” which is not allowed. Sherman said that “it appears as if [the Russians] were developing a ground-based capacity for this intermediate[-range] missile.” (See ACT, June 2014.)

Russia Denies Charges

Russia denies that it is breaching the INF treaty. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a July 28 statement that the allegations are “as baseless as all of Washington’s claims that have lately been reaching Moscow. Absolutely no proof has been provided.” The United States has accused Moscow of providing military support to rebel forces in eastern Ukraine, including the surface-to-air missile that shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in July.

“We have many complaints to make to the United States with regard to the [INF] Treaty,” the statement continued. “These include missile defense target missiles having characteristics similar to those of shorter- and intermediate-range missiles and the production by the Americans of armed drones which clearly fall under the [category of] land-based cruise missiles” in the INF Treaty, the ministry said.

Russia’s top general, Valery Gerasimov, told Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff on July 31 that Moscow was committed to adhering to the INF Treaty, Reuters reported.

According to the diplomatic source, Gerasimov expressed concern about U.S. plans to field the Mark-41 (MK-41) missile launcher in Romania and Poland as part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach, the Obama administration’s policy for missile defense in Europe. According to an Aug. 1 statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry, the sea-based MK-41 “can be used to launch intermediate-range cruise missiles, but [its] ground-launched version will be a gross violation of the INF Treaty.”

The MK-41 is currently used on U.S. Navy ships to launch missile defense interceptors, such as the Standard Missile-3, but it is also used to launch the Tomahawk intermediate-range cruise missile. As a sea-based missile, the Tomahawk does not run afoul of the INF Treaty. But once the MK-41 is based on land, as the United States plans to do next year, it would, in Russia’s view, conflict with the INF Treaty’s prohibition on possessing a ground-based launcher for intermediate-range cruise missiles.

The United States has not responded publicly to the Russian allegations. It is not clear if the land-based MK-41 would maintain its capability to launch intermediate-range cruise missiles or if the United States intends to modify the launcher to eliminate this capability.

Hill Response

In response to the State Department’s charge against Russia, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a July 31 press release that Russia’s action “cannot go unanswered.” Along with Sens. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Rubio introduced legislation that would, among other things, initiate U.S. research and development on missiles banned by the INF Treaty. Such work is allowed under the pact.

Congress does not appear to be pressuring the administration to withdraw from the INF Treaty to protest Russia’s actions, in part because there is an apparent political consensus that the best outcome for the United States would be for Moscow to come back into compliance. “I do not believe the appropriate remedy in this case is for the United States to withdraw from the treaty,” Stephen Rademaker, an official in the George W. Bush administration, told the House Armed Services Committee on July 17. “Rather, since Russia so clearly wants out, we should make sure that they alone pay the political and diplomatic price of terminating the treaty.”

Last summer, Sergey Ivanov, the Kremlin chief of staff, publicly questioned the value of the treaty, saying Russia has more potential threats on its borders than the United States does. “The Americans have no need for this class of weapon[;] they didn’t need it before and they don’t need it now,” Ivanov said, according to RIA Novosti. “They could theoretically only attack Mexico and Canada with them, because their effective radius doesn’t extend to Europe.”

Russia has indicated that another answer to its concerns might to be to expand the membership of the treaty. In 2007, Russia and the United States issued a statement at the UN General Assembly reaffirming their “support” for the treaty and calling on all other states to join them in renouncing the missiles banned by the treaty.

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Posted: December 31, 1969

U.S., EU Sanction Russia’s Arms Sector

Jefferson Morley

In response to Russian intervention in Ukraine, the Obama administration and the European Union have imposed sanctions on Russia’s weapons and defense sector. In an announcement on July 29, the EU banned new EU-Russian military equipment transactions for one year while the Obama administration blacklisted eight Russian defense firms, two separatist groups, and a Ukrainian oil facility.

The European Commission, the executive body of the EU, called the measures “a strong warning [that] illegal annexation of territory and deliberate destabilisation of a neighbouring sovereign country cannot be accepted in 21st century Europe.” The U.S. Commerce Department cited “Russia’s continued policy of destabilization in eastern Ukraine and ongoing occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol” as reasons to block transactions with the 11 entities “engaged in activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.”

Any U.S. firm seeking a license to do business with these organizations will face a presumption of denial, according to the Commerce Department. The U.S. sanctions, first authorized by an executive order issued in March by President Barack Obama, also block these entities from transferring any assets, receiving payments, or processing withdrawals in the United States.

What Sanctioned Russian Firms Make

  • Joint Stock Company (JSC) Concern Almaz-Antey is Russia’s largest defense contractor and the 12th largest in the world, with revenues of $8 billion in 2013.
  • Kalashnikov Concern makes the durable Kalashnikov assault rifle, one of the world’s most popular weapons. Kalishnikov Concern has exported almost 10,000 rifles to the United States in the first six months of 2014.
  • KBPO (Konstruktorskoe Byuro Priborostroeniya Otkrytoe Aktsionernoe Obshchestvo) manufactures high-precision weapons, anti-tank missiles, and anti-aircraft systems, including the vehicle-mounted Buk missile system that Western defense analysts say destroyed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in July, killing 298 people.
  • The State Scientific Production Enterprise Bazalt builds aircraft, ground, and marine munitions.
  • JSC Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies focuses on electronic warfare.
  • JSC Concern Sozvezdie focuses on electronic warfare.
  • JSC Military-Industrial Corporation NPO Mashinostroyenia builds advanced space and rocketry equipment.
  • Uralvagonzavod produces combat vehicles, tanks, and ordnance.

Source: Defense News, U.S. Commerce Department, Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control.

    The sanctioned Russian firms include Concern Almaz-Antey, Russia’s leading defense contractor; KBPO, which manufacturers the anti-aircraft system believed to have destroyed a Malaysia Airlines plane in July; and Kalashnikov Concern, which manufactures the assault rifle of the same name. Kalashnikov exported at least 10,000 rifles to the United States in 2013, according to the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, which monitors the global arms trade.

    Russia Responds

    It is not clear what the impact of the sanctions will be. European arms exports to Russia are relatively small, totaling around $400 million in 2013, according to the EU. But exports of dual-use goods to Russia last year were worth an estimated $26 billion. European firms supplied lasers and advanced electronics and materials, which Russia may find difficult to replace, according to sources quoted by The Wall Street Journal.

    On Aug. 6, Izvestia cited sources in Russia’s Federal Space Agency as saying its aerospace and military-industrial enterprises will purchase electronic components totaling several billion dollars from China. The sources said China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. had offered “a direct alternative to, or slight modifications of the elements [Russia] will no longer be able to acquire because of the sanctions introduced by the United States,” according to Izvestia.

    In addition to the EU sanctions, the German government canceled an ongoing deal involving Rheinmetall, a German defense firm supplying parts for a Russian military training facility. The deal has been suspended, and no more deliveries will occur, according to the German embassy in Washington. “We wanted to go beyond the EU sanctions,” a spokesman said in Aug. 11 phone interview.

    Despite criticism from other European countries, France is going ahead with a $1.6 billion deal to sell two Mistral amphibious warships to the Russian defense firm Rosoboronexport. DCNS, a French naval defense company, signed the deal in June 2011. The company says it will deliver the first carrier to Russia in October. According to news reports, 400 Russian sailors trained this summer at the port of Saint-Nazaire, in northwestern France, learning how to operate the vessel.

    The U.S. House of Representatives approved a defense appropriations bill in May with an amendment by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) barring the Defense Department from contracting or subcontracting for helicopters or other weapons with Rosoboronexport. The Senate is expected to take up similar legislation in September. Republican Sens. John Cornyn (Texas) and Dan Coats (Ind.) have called for the cancellation of all Pentagon contracts with Rosoboronexport. The Pentagon has paid the company more than $1 billion for a fleet of Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters, which the United States is providing to Afghan security forces.

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    Posted: December 31, 1969

    Russia Breaches INF Treaty, U.S. Says

    The State Department has accused Russia of testing a new medium-range, ground-launched cruise missile in violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Moscow denies the charge.

    Tom Z. Collina

    After months of speculation, the U.S. State Department announced in July that it had found Russia to be in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty over Moscow’s testing of a new medium-range, ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM). The accusation comes at a time of heightened U.S.-Russian tensions over Moscow’s support for separatist forces in Ukraine.

    “We have been attempting to address this very serious matter with Russia for some time, as the United States is wholly committed to the continued viability of the INF Treaty,” Rose Gottemoeller, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, said Aug. 14. In remarks to a symposium at U.S. Strategic Command in Omaha, Nebraska, she said the Obama administration was “asking Russia to return to compliance with the treaty in a verifiable manner.”

    Gottemoeller said that the two countries previously “have been down the road of needless, costly, and destabilizing arms races.” She added, “We know where that road leads and we are fortunate that our past leaders had the wisdom and strength to turn us in a new direction.”

    The INF Treaty, signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, marked the first time the two superpowers agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals and utilize extensive on-site inspections for verification. The treaty, which is still in force, eliminated almost 2,700 intermediate-range ballistic and cruise missiles, most of them Russia’s.

    U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by telephone about the INF Treaty on Aug. 1, according to the White House.

    According to a July 28 New York Times report, Obama sent Putin a letter that day in which Obama asked for a high-level dialogue with Moscow to discuss ways to preserve the treaty and bring Russia back into compliance.

    In an interview in early August, a diplomatic source familiar with the treaty controversy said senior Russian and U.S. officials are expected to meet in September to discuss the issue.

    U.S. Allegation Unspecified

    The Obama administration alleges that Russia is violating its INF Treaty obligation “not to possess, produce, or flight-test” a GLCM with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers or “to possess or produce launchers of such missiles,” as a State Department report sent to Congress in July summarized it.

    At a meeting in early July, the Principals Committee, which includes the national security adviser, the defense secretary, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the secretary of state, and the CIA director, “unanimously agreed” that the cruise missile flight test was a “serious violation,” the Times said. A senior administration official told Arms Control Today on July 29 that the intelligence community has “high confidence” in the assessment.

    The State Department report, which surveys compliance with arms control agreements by the United States and other countries, did not specify the type of cruise missile in question or say how many tests have been conducted or when they occurred. The senior administration official said that the testing took place at the Kapustin Yar test site in western Russia. According to the Times story, Russia began testing the cruise missile as early as 2008, and the administration concluded that it was a compliance concern by the end of 2011, although officials do not believe the missile has been deployed. Gottemoeller first raised the issue with Russian officials in May 2013, according to the Times.

    Unconfirmed reports have focused on Russia’s R-500 Iskander-K short-range cruise missile as the missile that precipitated the U.S. allegation. That system uses a road-mobile launcher, similar to the Iskander-M, which is a short-range, nuclear-capable ballistic missile. Russia reportedly is deploying the Iskander-M near Luga, south of St. Petersburg, near Russia’s borders with NATO member countries in response to U.S. missile defense plans. (See ACT, January/February 2014.) It is not clear if the range of the R-500 exceeds the lower limit of the INF Treaty.

    In the August interview, the diplomatic source said that according to the United States, the R-500 is not the focus of the allegation. That appears to be consistent with other available information on the allegation and the history of the R-500. According to the Times report, the GLCM considered to be a violation was first tested in 2008 and has not been deployed. The R-500 reportedly was first tested in May 2007 and deployed in 2013.

    At an April 29 congressional hearing, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) offered an alternative explanation of the nature of the alleged violation and the platform involved. He said that Russia claims to have tested a new intermediate-range missile for use at sea, which is allowed under the INF Treaty if the missile is tested from a test launcher, but that Moscow used “what appears to be an operational, usable ground-based launcher,” which is not allowed. Sherman said that “it appears as if [the Russians] were developing a ground-based capacity for this intermediate[-range] missile.” (See ACT, June 2014.)

    Russia Denies Charges

    Russia denies that it is breaching the INF treaty. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a July 28 statement that the allegations are “as baseless as all of Washington’s claims that have lately been reaching Moscow. Absolutely no proof has been provided.” The United States has accused Moscow of providing military support to rebel forces in eastern Ukraine, including the surface-to-air missile that shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in July.

    “We have many complaints to make to the United States with regard to the [INF] Treaty,” the statement continued. “These include missile defense target missiles having characteristics similar to those of shorter- and intermediate-range missiles and the production by the Americans of armed drones which clearly fall under the [category of] land-based cruise missiles” in the INF Treaty, the ministry said.

    Russia’s top general, Valery Gerasimov, told Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff on July 31 that Moscow was committed to adhering to the INF Treaty, Reuters reported.

    According to the diplomatic source, Gerasimov expressed concern about U.S. plans to field the Mark-41 (MK-41) missile launcher in Romania and Poland as part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach, the Obama administration’s policy for missile defense in Europe. According to an Aug. 1 statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry, the sea-based MK-41 “can be used to launch intermediate-range cruise missiles, but [its] ground-launched version will be a gross violation of the INF Treaty.”

    The MK-41 is currently used on U.S. Navy ships to launch missile defense interceptors, such as the Standard Missile-3, but it is also used to launch the Tomahawk intermediate-range cruise missile. As a sea-based missile, the Tomahawk does not run afoul of the INF Treaty. But once the MK-41 is based on land, as the United States plans to do next year, it would, in Russia’s view, conflict with the INF Treaty’s prohibition on possessing a ground-based launcher for intermediate-range cruise missiles.

    The United States has not responded publicly to the Russian allegations. It is not clear if the land-based MK-41 would maintain its capability to launch intermediate-range cruise missiles or if the United States intends to modify the launcher to eliminate this capability.

    Hill Response

    In response to the State Department’s charge against Russia, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a July 31 press release that Russia’s action “cannot go unanswered.” Along with Sens. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Rubio introduced legislation that would, among other things, initiate U.S. research and development on missiles banned by the INF Treaty. Such work is allowed under the pact.

    Congress does not appear to be pressuring the administration to withdraw from the INF Treaty to protest Russia’s actions, in part because there is an apparent political consensus that the best outcome for the United States would be for Moscow to come back into compliance. “I do not believe the appropriate remedy in this case is for the United States to withdraw from the treaty,” Stephen Rademaker, an official in the George W. Bush administration, told the House Armed Services Committee on July 17. “Rather, since Russia so clearly wants out, we should make sure that they alone pay the political and diplomatic price of terminating the treaty.”

    Last summer, Sergey Ivanov, the Kremlin chief of staff, publicly questioned the value of the treaty, saying Russia has more potential threats on its borders than the United States does. “The Americans have no need for this class of weapon[;] they didn’t need it before and they don’t need it now,” Ivanov said, according to RIA Novosti. “They could theoretically only attack Mexico and Canada with them, because their effective radius doesn’t extend to Europe.”

    Russia has indicated that another answer to its concerns might to be to expand the membership of the treaty. In 2007, Russia and the United States issued a statement at the UN General Assembly reaffirming their “support” for the treaty and calling on all other states to join them in renouncing the missiles banned by the treaty.

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    Posted: December 31, 1969

    Arms Control Association Calls on Russia to Uphold Its INF Treaty Commitments

    Description: 

    (Washington, D.C.) -- According to press reports, the United States has determined that Russia has violated provisions of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty that prohibit flight tests of ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs) with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles. The findings come in an annual report mandated by Congress on compliance with arms control agreements.

    Body: 

    For Immediate Release: July 29, 2014

    Media Contact: Daryl Kimball, Executive Director,202-463-8270 x107; Tom Collina, Research Director, 202-463-8270 x104

    (Washington, D.C.) -- According to press reports, the United States has determined that Russia has violated provisions of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty that prohibit flight tests of ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs) with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles. The findings come in an annual report mandated by Congress on compliance with arms control agreements.

    "The Obama administration is taking the right course of action in calling out Russia for this technical violation of the INF Treaty and by pressing the Kremlin to come back into compliance with this important agreement," said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the independent Arms Control Association.

    "Throughout the Cold War years and beyond, the United States and Russia have overcome ideological differences to reach legally binding, verifiable agreements to control and reduce their massive nuclear weapon stockpiles, including the INF Treaty, the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), and the 2010 New START," Kimball noted.

    "To preserve past gains and achieve further progress, Russia must continue to meet its nuclear arms control treaty commitments," he said. 

    "We call on Russia to immediately halt all activities that are inconsistent with the INF Treaty, verifiably dismantle any missiles that have been tested in violation of the treaty--along with their launch canisters and launchers--respond to formal requests for clarification, and announce that it will uphold all aspects of the INF Treaty in the future," said Greg Thielmann, Arms Control Association senior fellow and a former State Department official who participated in the INF negotiations.

    "Despite Russia's technical violation of the INF Treaty, there is no reason for the United States to alter its ongoing implementation of the treaty, which has served U.S. national security interests well for over 25 years. The United States has no military need to deploy ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles capable of traveling 500 to 5,500 kilometers, which are banned by the treaty. U.S. withdrawal would only give Russia an excuse to do the same, allowing Moscow to produce and deploy INF missiles," Thielmann warned.

    The INF Treaty was signed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. It required the United States and the Soviet Union to eliminate and permanently forswear all of their nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. The treaty marked the first time the superpowers had agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals and utilize extensive on-site inspections for verification. 

    As a result of the INF Treaty, the United States and the Soviet Union destroyed a total of 2,692 short, medium, and intermediate-range nuclear-armed missiles by the treaty's implementation deadline of June 1, 1991. Today, neither Washington nor Moscow deploys such systems. The treaty is of unlimited duration.

    Under the treaty, the United States committed to eliminate its Pershing IA, Pershing IB, Pershing II, and BGM-109G missiles. The Soviet Union had to destroy its SS-20, SS-4, SS-5, SSC-X-4, SS-12, and SS-23 missiles. In addition, both parties were obliged to destroy all INF-related training missiles, rocket stages, launch canisters, and launchers. Most missiles were eliminated either by exploding them while they were unarmed and burning their stages or by cutting the missiles in half and severing their wings and tail sections.

    The treaty ban applies to ground-based missiles only, not sea-based missiles. According to  Article VII, a cruise missile can be developed for sea-based use if it is test-launched "from a fixed land-based launcher which is used solely for test purposes and which is distinguishable from" operational ground-based cruise missile launchers.

    "Russia's violation of the INF Treaty follows a disturbing pattern of recent Russian intransigence on further nuclear arms reductions and disregard for key nonproliferation commitments," noted Tom Collina, Arms Control Association research director.

    Since New START's entry into force in 2011, Russia has resisted follow-on arms reduction talks with the United States. President Vladimir Putin has so far rebuffed U.S. President Barack Obama's June 2013 proposal to reduce U.S. and Russian nuclear strategic stockpiles by one-third below the ceilings set by New START. Russia's military intervention in Crimea violates its 1994 Budapest Memorandum commitment to respect the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine after it agreed to denuclearize in 1994 and join the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as a nonnuclear weapon state.

    "It would be highly counterproductive for Congress to interfere with U.S. treaty implementation, as the House is seeking to do in its FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act, which would prevent implementation of New START," Collina said.

    "Until such time as the political conditions are conducive to further nuclear arms reductions, the existing U.S.-Russian arms control instruments still serve as an anchor of stability and predictability--and Russia must do its part by complying with all existing commitments," Collina urged.

    "The Cold War is long over, but the United States and Russia continue to deploy nuclear stockpiles that, by any reasonable measure, far exceed their nuclear deterrence requirements. It is clear that the United States and Russia need more arms control, not less," Kimball said.


    ###

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    Posted: December 31, 1969

    Russia Undecided on Arms Trade Treaty

    Russia has not decided whether to sign the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a Russian official said last month, apparently contradicting an earlier report by the state-run Voice of Russia broadcasting service.

    Daryl G. Kimball

    Russia has not decided whether to sign the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a Russian official said last month, apparently contradicting an earlier report by the state-run Voice of Russia broadcasting service.

    In a May 21 e-mail to Arms Control Today, Mikhail Ulyanov, director of the department for nonproliferation and arms control at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that “as of now, there is no decision on joining the ATT or not.”

    The inquiry to Ulyanov was prompted by a May 20 Voice of Russia report saying Moscow had decided not to join the ATT.

    “We see both positive and negative aspects, all of which will be taken into account,” Ulyanov said in the e-mail. One positive feature is the requirement for states to create or improve their national export control systems, he said. “But the list of the treaty’s drawbacks is also pretty long,” said Ulyanov, who was Russia’s chief negotiator during the multilateral talks that produced the ATT last year.

    Russia has been criticized by many Western governments for continuing to supply the Bashar al-Assad regime, which has attacked civilian population centers throughout the three-year-old civil conflict in Syria. The ATT prohibits arms transfers if the supplier state “has knowledge at the time of authorization that the arms or items would be used in the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, attacks directed against civilian objects or civilians protected as such, or other war crimes.”

    A year after the ATT was opened for signature, 118 states have signed it, and 32 have ratified it. When 50 states ratify the pact, it will enter into force.

    Russia is one of several major arms supplier states that have not signed the treaty. Moscow is the world’s second-largest arms supplier, accounting for 27 percent of all arms exports from 2009 to 2013, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

    The United States, the largest arms supplier, signed the treaty in September, but U.S. officials have indicated they do not plan to send it to the Senate for approval in the near future.

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    Posted: December 31, 1969

    Congressman Clarifies U.S. INF Concerns

    New details have surfaced regarding U.S. allegations that Russia breached a key bilateral arms control treaty by testing a cruise missile from a prohibited launcher.

    Tom Z. Collina

    A U.S. congressman provided new details in late April about the Obama administration’s allegation that Russia may be breaching a key U.S.-Russian arms control treaty, stating that Moscow may have tested a cruise missile from a prohibited launcher.

    At a joint April 29 hearing of two House Foreign Affairs Committee panels, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) said that Russia claims to have tested an intermediate-range missile for use at sea, which is allowed under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, but that Moscow used “what appears to be an operational, usable ground-based launcher,” which is not allowed. Sherman said that “it appears as if [the Russians] were developing a ground-based capacity for this intermediate missile.”

    The INF Treaty permanently bans U.S. and Russian ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles capable of traveling 500 to 5,500 kilometers; it does not cover sea-based missiles. According to the treaty, a cruise missile can be developed for use at sea if it is test-launched “from a fixed land-based launcher which is used solely for test purposes and which is distinguishable from” operational ground-based cruise missile launchers.

    Testing an intermediate-range cruise missile from a ground-based launcher that is not distinguishable from operational launchers, as well as testing from a mobile launcher, would be a violation of the treaty.

    Sherman said that Russia is allowed to test sea-launched cruise missiles from a ground-based launcher unless “that ground-based launcher would be the effective launcher to use in case hostilities broke out.”

    Anita Friedt, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for nuclear and strategic policy, said at the hearing that the United States has “very serious concerns” that “Russia is developing a ground-launched cruise missile that is inconsistent with” the INF Treaty. She did not confirm or deny Sherman’s description of the alleged violation.

    The State Department made its concerns public for the first time in January after months of speculation. (See ACT, March 2014.) The Obama administration is expected to release its annual report on arms control compliance, including a determination on Russia’s possible INF violation, in the near future.

    In May 9 comments to the Defense Writers Group, Rose Gottemoeller, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, said she would not expect the issue “to drag on for years” and that it was “ripe for resolution.”

    Conservatives in the House of Representatives are seeking to use Russia’s actions on the INF Treaty to block other arms control agreements. On May 22, the House voted 233-191 to approve an amendment to the fiscal year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act that would prevent funding for implementation of the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) until Russia “is no longer taking actions that are inconsistent with the INF Treaty,” among other conditions.

    Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), who sits on the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, introduced the amendment, which was supported by seven Democrats and 226 Republicans.

    The Senate Armed Services Committee passed its version of the defense bill May 22 with a provision requiring the secretary of defense to notify the Senate of potential violations of arms control agreements.

    Some Republican senators have criticized the administration for its handling of the potential INF Treaty violation, saying the executive branch withheld information that was relevant to the Senate debate on New START in late 2010. The administration has said it did provide information on the alleged breach during that time. (See ACT, April 2014.)

    At the April 29 hearing, neither Sherman nor the State Department identified what type of cruise missile Russia might be testing or the type of launcher, but unconfirmed reports have focused on Russia’s R-500 Iskander-K. That system, reportedly first tested in 2007, would use a road-mobile launcher, as the Iskander-M does. The latter is a short-range, nuclear-capable ballistic missile that Russia has said it plans to deploy near NATO member countries in response to U.S. missile defense plans. (See ACT, January/February 2014.)

    Previous reports had focused on Russia’s RS-26 ballistic missile, which Moscow has reportedly flight-tested at intermediate ranges. But because the RS-26 has also been tested at ranges greater than 5,500 kilometers, it is considered by both sides to be an intercontinental ballistic missile and therefore covered and allowed by New START.

    Regarding this allegation, Sherman said at the hearing that “it seems clear it is a long-range missile” and thus not covered by the INF Treaty.

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    Posted: December 31, 1969

    The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty at a Glance

    May 2014

    Press Contacts: Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, (202) 463-8270 x107 and Tom Collina, Research Director, (202) 463-8270 x104

    Updated: May 2014

    The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty required the United States and the Soviet Union to eliminate and permanently forswear all of their nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. The treaty marked the first time the superpowers had agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals, eliminate an entire category of nuclear weapons, and utilize extensive on-site inspections for verification. As a result of the INF Treaty, the United States and the Soviet Union destroyed a total of 2,692 short-, medium-, and intermediate-range missiles by the treaty's implementation deadline of June 1, 1991. Neither Washington nor Moscow now deploys such systems.

    History

    U.S. calls for the control of intermediate-range missiles emerged as a result of the Soviet Union's domestic deployment of SS-20 intermediate-range missiles in the mid-1970s. The SS-20 qualitatively improved Soviet nuclear forces in the European theater by providing a longer-range, multiple-warhead alternative to aging Soviet SS-4 and SS-5 single-warhead missiles. In 1979, NATO ministers responded to the new Soviet missile deployment with what became known as the "dual-track" strategy-a simultaneous push for arms control negotiations with the deployment of intermediate-range, nuclear-armed U.S. missiles (ground-launched cruise missiles and the Pershing II) in Europe to offset the SS-20. Negotiations, however, faltered repeatedly while U.S. missile deployments continued in the early 1980s.

    INF negotiations began to show progress once Mikhail Gorbachev became the Soviet general-secretary in March 1985. In the fall of the same year, the Soviet Union put forward a plan to establish a balance between the number of SS-20 warheads and the growing number of allied intermediate-range missile warheads in Europe. The United States expressed interest in the Soviet proposal, and the scope of the negotiations expanded in 1986 to include all U.S. and Soviet intermediate-range missiles around the world. Using the momentum from these talks, President Ronald Reagan and Gorbachev began to move toward a comprehensive INF elimination agreement. Their efforts culminated in the signing of the INF Treaty on December 8, 1987, and the treaty entered into force on June 1, 1988.

    Elimination Protocol

    The INF Treaty's protocol on missile elimination named the specific types of ground-launched missiles to be destroyed and the acceptable means of doing so. Under the treaty, the United States committed to eliminate its Pershing II, Pershing IA, and Pershing IB ballistic missiles and BGM-109G cruise missiles. The Soviet Union had to destroy its SS-20, SS-4, SS-5, SS-12, and SS-23 ballistic missiles and SSC-X-4 cruise missiles. In addition, both parties were obliged to destroy all INF-related training missiles, rocket stages, launch canisters, and launchers. Most missiles were eliminated either by exploding them while they were unarmed and burning their stages or by cutting the missiles in half and severing their wings and tail sections.

    Inspection and Verification Protocols

    The INF Treaty's inspection protocol required states-parties to inspect and inventory each other's intermediate-range nuclear forces 30 to 90 days after the treaty's entry into force. Referred to as "baseline inspections," these exchanges laid the groundwork for future missile elimination by providing information on the size and location of U.S. and Soviet forces. Treaty provisions also allowed signatories to conduct up to 20 short-notice inspections per year at designated sites during the first three years of treaty implementation and to monitor specified missile-production facilities to guarantee that no new missiles were being produced.

    The INF Treaty's verification protocol certified reductions through a combination of national technical means (i.e., satellite observation) and on-site inspections-a process by which each party could send observers to monitor the other's elimination efforts as they occurred. The protocol explicitly banned interference with photo-reconnaissance satellites, and states-parties were forbidden from concealing their missiles to impede verification activities. Both states-parties could carry out on-site inspections at each other's facilities in the United States and Soviet Union and at specified bases in Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, West Germany, and Czechoslovakia.

    The INF Treaty Today

    States-parties' rights to conduct on-site inspections under the treaty ended on May 31, 2001, but the use of surveillance satellites for data collection continues. The INF Treaty established the Special Verification Commission (SVC) to act as an implementing body for the treaty, resolving questions of compliance and agreeing on measures to "improve [the treaty's] viability and effectiveness." Because the INF Treaty is of unlimited duration, states-parties can convene the SVC at any time, and the commission continues to meet today.

    The INF ban originally applied only to U.S. and Soviet forces, but the treaty's membership expanded in 1991 to include successor states of the former Soviet Union. Today, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine join Russia and the United States in the treaty's implementation. Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan possessed INF facilities (SS-23 operating bases) but forgo treaty meetings with the consent of the other states-parties.

    Although active states-parties to the treaty total just five countries, several European countries have destroyed INF-banned missiles since the end of the Cold War. Germany, Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic destroyed their intermediate-range missiles in the 1990s, and Slovakia dismantled all of its remaining intermediate-range missiles in October 2000 after extensive U.S. prodding. On May 31, 2002, the last possessor of intermediate-range missiles in eastern Europe, Bulgaria, signed an agreement with the United States to destroy all of its INF Treaty-relevant missiles. Bulgaria completed the destruction five months later with U.S. funding.

    In recent years, Russia has raised the possibility of withdrawing from the INF Treaty. Moscow contends that the treaty unfairly prevents it from possessing weapons that its neighbors, such as China, are developing and fielding. Russia also has suggested that the proposed U.S. deployment of strategic anti-ballistic missile systems in Europe might trigger a Russian withdrawal from the accord, presumably so Moscow can deploy missiles targeting any future U.S. anti-missile sites. Still, the United States and Russia issued an Oct. 25, 2007 statement at the United Nations General Assembly reaffirming their “support” for the treaty and calling on all other states to join them in renouncing the missiles banned by the treaty.

    Strategic Arms Control and Policy

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    Posted: December 31, 1969

    Russia Should Uphold Its INF Treaty Commitments

    Description: 

    Throughout the Cold War years and beyond, the United States and Russia have overcome ideological differences to reach legally binding, verifiable agreements to control and reduce their massive nuclear weapon stockpiles, including the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), and the 2010 New START Treaty.

    Body: 

    Volume 5, Issue 7, May 23, 2014

    Throughout the Cold War years and beyond, the United States and Russia have overcome ideological differences to reach legally binding, verifiable agreements to control and reduce their massive nuclear weapon stockpiles, including the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), and the 2010 New START Treaty.

    To preserve past gains and achieve further progress, Russia and the United States must continue to meet their treaty commitments.

    The U.S. State Department said in January that Russia may have committed a technical violation of the INF Treaty by testing a new type of cruise missile. At the time, administration officials said no final determination had been made about the possible violation and the specific allegations were not revealed. The Obama administration is expected address the issue in its annual report to Congress on arms control compliance, due to be released soon.

    However, statements from an April 29 congressional hearing suggest that Russia has tested an intermediate range cruise missile for use at sea, which is allowed under the treaty, but that the missile was apparently tested from an operational ground-based launcher, which is not allowed.

    At the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) said that, "it appears as if [Moscow] were developing a ground-based capacity for this intermediate missile."

    If true, Russia should immediately halt all activities that are inconsistent with the INF Treaty, verifiably dismantle any missiles that may have been tested in violation of the treaty, respond to formal requests for clarification, and announce that it will uphold all aspects of the INF Treaty in the future.

    At the same time, there is no reason for the United States to alter its ongoing implementation of the INF Treaty, which has served U.S. national security interests for over 25 years. The United States has no military need to deploy ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles capable of traveling 500 to 5,500 kilometers, which are banned by the treaty. U.S. withdrawal would only give Russia an excuse to do the same, allowing Moscow to produce and deploy INF missiles.

    The best outcome would be for the United States and Russia to engage in further discussions to promptly resolve any Russian INF Treaty violations. Under the treaty, which is still in force, the parties can use the Special Verification Commission to resolve compliance issues.

    Meanwhile, the United States should refrain from any response that would be inconsistent with the goal of achieving full compliance with the INF Treaty.

    What the INF Treaty Says

    The INF Treaty was signed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. It required the United States and the Soviet Union to eliminate and permanently forswear all of their nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. The treaty marked the first time the superpowers had agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals and utilize extensive on-site inspections for verification.

    As a result of the INF Treaty, the United States and the Soviet Union destroyed a total of 2,692 short, medium, and intermediate-range nuclear-armed missiles by the treaty's implementation deadline of June 1, 1991. Today, neither Washington nor Moscow now deploys such systems. The treaty is of unlimited duration.

    Under the treaty, the United States committed to eliminate its Pershing IA, Pershing IB, Pershing II, and BGM-109G missiles. The Soviet Union had to destroy its SS-20, SS-4, SS-5, SSC-X-4, SS-12, and SS-23 missiles. In addition, both parties were obliged to destroy all INF-related training missiles, rocket stages, launch canisters, and launchers. Most missiles were eliminated either by exploding them while they were unarmed and burning their stages or by cutting the missiles in half and severing their wings and tail sections.

    The treaty ban applies to ground-based missiles only, not sea-based missiles. According to Article VII, a cruise missile can be developed for sea-based use if it is test-launched "from a fixed land-based launcher which is used solely for test purposes and which is distinguishable from" operational ground-based cruise missile launchers.

    If Russia has tested an intermediate-range cruise missile from a launcher that is not "distinguishable" from operational launchers, or from a mobile launcher, it would be a violation of the treaty.

    A Disturbing Pattern

    This apparent technical violation of the INF Treaty follows a disturbing pattern of recent Russian intransigence on further nuclear arms reductions and disregard for key nonproliferation commitments.

    Since New START's entry into force in 2011, Russia has resisted follow-on arms reduction talks with the United States. President Vladimir Putin has so far rebuffed U.S. President Barack Obama's June 2013 proposal to reduce U.S. and Russian strategic stockpiles by one-third below the ceilings set by New START.

    Worse still, Russia's military intervention in Crimea violates its 1994 Budapest Memorandum commitment to respect the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine.

    The Cold War is long over, but the United States and Russia continue to deploy nuclear stockpiles that--by any reasonable measure--far exceed their nuclear deterrence "requirements." It is clear that the United States and Russia need more arms control, not less.

    As such, it would be highly counterproductive for Congress to interfere with U.S. treaty implementation, as the House is seeking to do in its FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act, which would prevent implementation of New START.

    The United States and Russia have had their disagreements before, such as over the Krasnoyarsk radar and the United State's effort to reinterpret the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Yet over time, resolution of compliance issues has become easier and the ultimate implementation record of these treaties has been highly successful.   

    Until such time as the political conditions are conducive to further nuclear arms reductions, the existing U.S.-Russian arms control instruments still serve as an anchor of stability and predictability--and Russia must do its part by complying with all existing commitments.--TOM Z. COLLINA AND DARYL G. KIMBALL

    ###

    The Arms Control Association (ACA) is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing information and practical policy solutions to address the dangers posed by the world's most dangerous weapons. ACA publishes the monthly journal, Arms Control Today

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    <strong>U.S.-RUSSIA</strong></br></br>

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    Posted: December 31, 1969

    U.S. Reviewing, Not Halting, Russia Work

    The U.S. government is reviewing its nuclear security cooperation work in Russia, but, contrary to some Russian media reports, has not suspended it.

    Daniel Horner

    Although the U.S. Energy Department is conducting a review of all its “Russian-related activities” in response to Russia’s recent actions in Ukraine, it has not suspended nuclear cooperation with Russia, the U.S. embassy in Moscow said last month in a press release.

    According to the release, the Energy Department and its semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), whose responsibilities include nuclear security and nonproliferation work in Russia, “remain absolutely committed to their global nuclear security mission and responsibilities” and see “[c]ooperation with Russia [as] an essential element” of a worldwide effort to prevent nuclear terrorism.

    The April 10 embassy release appeared to be in response to reports in Russian media a few days earlier saying the joint nuclear work had been suspended. Prior to the reports, the Energy Department had announced it was conducting the review.

    The Defense Department also has been heavily involved in the two-decade-long effort to dismantle or destroy Russian nonconventional weapons and secure proliferation-sensitive materials. The effort originated in the Pentagon with the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program, often known by the names of the two senators who sponsored the 1991 legislation creating it, Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.).

    In an April 18 e-mail to Arms Control Today, Pentagon spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea said the Defense Department was “carefully evaluating” its CTR activities in the region.

    Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula and other actions indicating that Moscow may be poised to seize control of additional parts of Ukraine have spurred questions in the U.S. Congress about the wisdom of various forms of U.S. cooperation with Russia. But so far, it appears the only casualty from the nuclear security cooperation effort is the NNSA commitment to provide Russia with the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System.

    That system, which some observers have described as resembling an advanced version of “laser tag,” is used in force-on-force drills. In Russia, it has been used to train the guard forces protecting civilian and military nuclear materials. But a group of 18 House Republicans, led by Reps. Jim Bridenstine (Okla.) and Michael Turner (Ohio), cited its military uses by the U.S. armed forces to argue that providing the system to Russia under the current circumstances is a “mistake.” Acting NNSA Administrator Bruce Held agreed that the United States should stop providing Russia with the laser system.

    Much of the U.S.-Russian nuclear security work has restarted only recently, after a hiatus of nearly a year. The so-called CTR umbrella agreement, which provided the legal underpinnings for the work, expired last June and was replaced with an accord that scales back the cooperation in some areas. (See ACT, July/August 2013.)

    Key elements of the transition to the new agreement, such as the renegotiation of contracts and arrangements for U.S. access to Russian facilities, took many months to resolve. In early April, Global Security Newswire quoted Anne Harrington, NNSA deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation, as saying the work had just recently resumed.

    That meant work restarted in the midst of the Ukraine crisis. By at least some measures, the crisis does not appear to have curtailed the effort. In an April 28 interview, Matthew Bunn, a nonproliferation official in the Clinton administration who is now with Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, said NNSA delegations have made at least two major visits to Moscow in recent weeks to pursue work under existing contracts.

    Bunn, who is a member of the Arms Control Association Board of Directors, noted that U.S.-Russian security cooperation continued during the Georgian-Russian war in 2008.

    Similarly, the Ukraine crisis and the “poisonous” atmosphere it has created should not be allowed to disrupt nuclear security cooperation, he said. Although the security situation in Russia has improved greatly since the mid-1990s, the U.S. government needs to continue to “protect the large taxpayer investment” represented by those improvements and work to “fix the problems that still exist.” At the same time, the United States should be encouraging Russia to allocate funds and put regulations in place for those purposes, he said.

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    Posted: December 31, 1969

    Senate Bill Includes Counterproductive Proposals on U.S.-Russian Arms Control

    Body: 

    For Immediate Release: April 30, 2014

    Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, Arms Control Association, (202) 463-8270, ext. 107; Tom Z. Collina, Arms Control Association, (202) 463-8270, ext. 104

    (Washington, D.C.) A new bill introduced today by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and a group of 20 Senate Republicans designed to respond to Russia's occupation of Crimea and meddling in Ukraine unwisely threatens to unravel existing agreements with Russia that establish verifiable limits on nuclear arms, and provide information and transparency about Russian military behavior.

    "Russia's behavior in Ukraine is deplorable and illegal and it deserves a strong, appropriate response. However, actions that block the implementation of the key treaty that limits Russia's strategic nuclear arsenal and other agreements that provide important intelligence information about Russian military capabilities are counterproductive and would undermine U.S. and international security," says Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the non-partisan Arms Control Association.

    The Corker bill calls for:

    • A plan to accelerate by two years "phase 3" of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) for ballistic missile defense. Phase 3 currently calls for the introduction of SM-3 interceptors in Poland by 2018 (Sec 104, p. 11);
    • A halt to further negotiations with Russia on nuclear reductions until Russia is in full compliance with other treaties, including the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty (Sec. 205, p. 35);
    • A halt to reductions in deployed or non-deployed U.S. "launchers" under the 2010 New START treaty so long as Russia threatens Ukraine (p. 35);
    • Prohibiting overflights of U.S. territory by Russian aircraft under the 1992 Open Skies Treaty using new digital surveillance devices (p. 37).

    "Unfortunately, it is Russia that is resisting further negotiations to reduce the still enormous U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals below New START levels of 1,550 deployed strategic warheads and 800 deployed and nondeployed launchers," said Tom Collina, ACA's research director.

    "A halt to further implementation of New START and a withdrawal of U.S. efforts to further cut Russia's arsenal only helps strengthen President's Putin's position and would eliminate steps to reduce the number of Russian nuclear-armed missiles that can target the United States," Collina said.

    "The on-the-ground inspections of Russian strategic forces under New START provides some of the highest value information available to the intelligence community on the status of Russia's nuclear forces and Moscow's compliance with the terms of the treaty. Why would we want to encourage non-compliance with any bilateral treaty (New START or Open Skies) with Russia and tempt disruption of this vital information flow?" said ACA Senior Fellow Greg Thielmann.

    "Despite the severe differences with President Putin over Ukraine, it is clearly in our national interests to scrupulously implement and ensure compliance with existing arms control treaty verification measures, and to seek further reductions in the still oversized Russian and U.S. nuclear arsenals," Thielmann said.

    "With respect to missile defenses, none of the U.S. missile defense systems considered for deployment in Europe would be capable of defending Europe (or the United States) from Russian strategic forces.  NATO should therefore maintain its steady course in implementing the first three phases of the EPAA, which do not include defenses against ICBMs, in response to evolving missile threats from the Middle East," said Collina.

    "Clearly, the tensions over Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and meddling in other parts of Ukraine would be more difficult to manage without the limits, inspections, and transparency afforded by the existing nuclear risk reduction and confidence-building agreements now in force, including New START, Open Skies, INF, the Vienna Document of 2011," says Kimball.

    "Congress and the President would be wise not to make a bad situation worse by giving Russia an excuse to pull back from any of these agreements," he said.

    ###

    The Arms Control Association (ACA) is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the dangers posed by the world's most dangerous weapons. ACA partnered with a 21-member trilateral German-Russian-U.S. Deep Cuts Commission established in 2013 to devise concepts on how to overcome current challenges to deep nuclear reductions.

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    Posted: December 31, 1969

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