While President Barack Obama seeks economic sanctions against Russia for its military intervention in Ukraine, the Defense Department is continuing to fulfill a $554 million contract with Russia’s arms export agency to supply military helicopters to the government of Afghanistan.
Republicans in the House and Senate introduced identical resolutions March 25 calling on President Barack Obama to hold Russia accountable for “being in material breach of its obligations” under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
The global nuclear disarmament and risk reduction enterprise is at a crossroads as U.S.-Russian relations have reached perhaps their lowest point in more than a quarter century. Nevertheless, it remains in U.S. and Russian interests to implement existing nuclear risk reduction agreements and pursue practical, low-risk steps to lower tensions. Present circumstances demand new approaches to resolve stubborn challenges to deeper nuclear cuts and the establishment of a new framework to address Euro-Atlantic security issues.
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.