Archive for the ‘START’ Category

Russia says it is ready for more arms cuts

February 7, 2009

Russia is ready for more nuclear weapons cuts and welcomes President Barack Obama‘s push for talks on an arms reduction treaty, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in remarks broadcast Saturday.

Russia is believed to have fewer warheads than the U.S. and has indicated it wants a binding deal on further reductions, but Lavrov’s remarks were the clearest statement in the issue since Obama took office last month.

The Kremlin, meanwhile, has called on the Obama administration to abandon policies set by his predecessor George W. Bush, including plans for a missile shield based in former Soviet satellite states and the expansion of NATO into Georgia and Ukraine. Lavrov said Russia had long pressed the Bush administration in vain for a clear response to proposals for replacing the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, when it expires in December.

By STEVE GUTTERMAN, Associated Press Writer

On Thursday, a spokesman for U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said a replacement treaty for START would be put on a fast track, and that the Obama administration was committed to cuts but had not decided how deep.

“We are ready to go further on the path of reductions and limitations,” Lavrov said, adding only the caveat that Russia’s overarching goal is to ensure its security.

START limited the United States and Russia to 6,000 nuclear warheads each. In 2002, Bush and Vladimir Putin, then president of Russia, agreed on a treaty that set a target of 1,700 to 2,000 deployed strategic warheads on each side by 2012.

Lavrov made no mention of specific numbers in the brief remarks. Asked about media reports claiming a reduction of up to 80 percent could be in the works, he said he had not heard them and that nothing had been confirmed officially.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090207/ap_o
n_re_eu/eu_russia_us_nuclear_arms_2

Russia Angry, Critical of U.S. On Arms Control

December 20, 2008

A senior Russian diplomat harshly criticised the US stance in arms control talks yesterday, saying it could further erode mutual trust and undermine global stability.

The US and Russia have begun talks on a successor deal to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty which expires in December 2009, but a cold spell in Russia-US relations has stymied talks.

By David Nowak
Associated Press

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Russian and US negotiators have failed to agree on which weapons should be counted under the new deal.


Russia wants to count missiles, bombers and submarines along with nuclear warheads fitted to them, as was done in the START I treaty, while the United States agrees only to count nuclear warheads, Ryabkov said.

“The implementation of the approach proposed by the American side can strip our bilateral relations of a key element – predictability in arms control – and badly destabilise the strategic situation,” Ryabkov said in a statement.

US officials argued that missiles, bombers and submarines mustn’t be subject to a nuclear arms control deal because they can also carry conventional weapons.

Related:
Russia Testing Obama: Says No To U.S.
Missile Defense & Offers To Stop “Some” Rus
 
Weapons

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Russia, Obama and the Strategic Chess Tournament
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http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/foreign/display.var.24766
99.0.Russia_criticises_Americas_arms_reduction_stance.php

Russia Will Test Obama on Arms Control, Missile Defense — Diplomat

December 17, 2008

The Russian government is likely to “test the mettle” of Barack Obama and his administration by taking a tougher stance against U.S. missile defenses, a senior State Department official said Wednesday. John Rood, the department’s top arms control official, told reporters he believes the Russians are waiting to size up the Obama administration before Moscow advances its position on disputed arms issues.

Russia President Dmitry Medvedev returns after inspecting a ... 
Russia President Dmitry Medvedev
Photo: AP

In discussing the state of Russian opposition to U.S. missile defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, Rood said it appears that Moscow has “paused” in anticipation of a new national security approach in Washington.

“My assessment is that the Russians intend to test the mettle of the new administration and the new president,” he said. “The future will show how the new administration chooses to answer that challenge.”

Asked to elaborate, he said, “I think missile defense and other subjects will be among those that the Russians intend to determine what the new administration’s posture will be.” He said he reached this conclusion on the basis of an impression gained during talks in Moscow on Monday rather than from explicit Russian statements.

By ROBERT BURNS, Associated Press Writer

He also said the Russians have been less flexible lately in talks on missile defense. In particular he cited their stance on U.S. proposals to give the Russians more assurance that a missile interceptor site in Poland and a missile-tracking radar in the Czech Republic would pose no security threat to Russia.

The U.S., with the support of the Polish and Czech governments, has proposed that Russian officials be given regular access to the interceptor and radar sites and that they be allowed to monitor activity at both sites through undisclosed technical means. Rood did not elaborate on the details in dispute.

“I don’t want to spell out all the details because I think this is a high-priority dialogue for us in the United States, and I don’t think that putting all the details out will facilitate a resolution to it,” he said.

Rood led a U.S. government delegation in talks with senior Russian officials on a range of subjects, including efforts by both governments to negotiate a treaty to replace the 1991 START nuclear arms deal, which expires in December 2009. Rood said the talks were useful but did not achieve any breakthroughs.

Related:
 Foes warned off ‘testing’ Obama

Signals To Obama: Back Off

Foes ready to test Obama overseas

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081217/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_russia

Russia Says Strategic Arms Agreements With U.S. All Need to Be Scrapped, Replaced

December 16, 2008

Russia and the United States failed to narrow their differences on Monday over American plans for a missile shield in Europe, but said they were committed to replacing a cold war nuclear weapons agreement. After bilateral talks in Moscow, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, and John Rood, the American under secretary of state for arms control, said they wanted to negotiate a replacement for the agreement, the START-1, before it expired next year. “The task is quite realistic; we have enough time,” Mr. Ryabkov said. “I can’t help being optimistic about that.”

–Reuters

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov speaks during ... 
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov speaks during a news briefing in the main building of Foreign Ministry in Moscow, December 15, 2008. Ryabkov and U.S. Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Rood met behind closed doors to discuss a replacement to the START-1 pact which expires in December 2009.REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov (RUSSIA)

Russia and U.S. committed to strategic arms deal

December 15, 2008

Russia and the United States failed to narrow their differences over Washington’s plans for a missile shield in Europe on Monday, but both said they were committed to replacing a Cold War pact on strategic arms.

After the talks, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told journalists he was looking forward to working with the new U.S. administration under President-elect Barack Obama and was confident a deal could be reached to replace the START-1 pact, which expires next year.

“The task is quite realistic, we have enough time,” he said. “I can’t help being optimistic about that.”

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov speaks during ... 
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov speaks during a news briefing in the main building of Foreign Ministry in Moscow, December 15, 2008. Ryabkov and U.S. Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Rood met behind closed doors to discuss a replacement to the START-1 pact which expires in December 2009.REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov (RUSSIA)

The START treaty, signed by Moscow and Washington in 1991, committed both to cutting their numbers of missiles and strategic bombers to 1,600 each. Both sides met limits set by the treaty by December 2001.

By Oleg Shchedrov and James Kilner

In a telephone interview with Reuters, the top U.S. official at the talks, Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Rood, agreed that the two wanted a replacement for START by the end of 2009.

“But there are substantial differences on our points to the final package,” he said.

Considerations on what should follow START have been marred by growing differences between Moscow and Washington on arms control, dominated by Washington’s plans for a missile shield in Europe.

Russia rejects U.S. reasoning that interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic are needed to avert potential missile strikes from Iran.

Moscow says the project is targeted against it and has threatened to place missiles in its western enclave of Kaliningrad.

Ryabkov said although talks had been positive, differences remained.

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15/pl_nm/us_russia_usa_missiles_4

US, Russia discuss missile shield, arms control

December 15, 2008

U.S. officials are holding talks with Russia on the divisive subject of missile defense and on other arms and security issues.

The U.S. says its plans for missile shield installations in Poland and the Czech Republic would counter a potential threat from Iran. Russia claims the real aim is to weaken its nuclear deterrent.

Russia is already pressuring the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama to scrap the plans and has threatened to deploy missiles near the Polish border.

Monday’s talks were also to address efforts to negotiate a follow-on deal to the 1991 START nuclear arms agreement, which expires in a year.

The U.S. delegation is led by John Rood, the acting undersecretary of state for arms control and international security.

US, Russia to discuss missile shield in Moscow next week

December 11, 2008

The United States and Russia will hold next talks in Moscow next week on a planned US missile defence shield in Eastern Europe, Itar-Tass agency reported Thursday quoting a junior Russian foreign minister.

“It is too early to forecast the results of this meeting… Everything depends on the new US administration’s assessment of the subject,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

A Russian foreign ministry source told Interfax news agency the talks will be held on December 15.

“A new round of talks on political and military questions including the misile defence shield and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) will take place on December 15 behind closed doors,” said the source.

AFP

John Rood, US under secretary of state for arms control and international security, will meet Ryabkov in the Moscow talks.

US Under Secretary of State John Rood answers a journalist's ... 
US Under Secretary of State John Rood answers a journalist’s question in Budapest in February 2008 during his press conference after talks on missile defence with his Russian counterparts. The United States and Russia will hold next talks in Moscow next week on a planned US missile defence shield in Eastern Europe, Itar-Tass agency reported Thursday quoting a junior Russian foreign minister.(AFP/File/Attila Kisbenedek)

Moscow has sharply criticised the US plans to put an anti-missile radar in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland, despite US assurances that the system is not directed against Russia.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin urged US president-elect Barack Obama last month to drop the planned missile shield.

Obama, who takes office on January 20, has yet to say whether he intends to continue the plan created by the outgoing administration of Republican president George W. Bush.