Author Topic: Russia Threatens Withdrawal from Cold War Nuclear Treaty  (Read 1574 times)

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Russia Threatens Withdrawal from Cold War Nuclear Treaty
« on: October 12, 2007, 10:25:07 AM »
Putin threatens withdrawal from cold war nuclear treaty

Luke Harding in Moscow
Friday October 12, 2007

Guardian Unlimited


The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, attends a meeting with the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, and the US defence secretary, Robert Gates, at his presidential dacha outside Moscow. Photograph: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

President Vladimir Putin warned today that Russia was considering withdrawal from a major cold war arms treaty restricting intermediate range nuclear missiles unless it is expanded to include other states.

Mr Putin said that Moscow is planning to dump the intermediate range nuclear forces treaty (INF) - signed in a landmark deal between the US and Soviet Union in 1987 - unless countries like China are included in its provisions.

His comments came just before talks in Moscow today between the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, and the US defence secretary, Robert Gates, with Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, and the defence minister, Anatoly Serdyukov.

Mr Putin also repeated his opposition to the Bush administrations plans to site elements of its missile defence shield in central Europe. The project threatened the US and Russia's strategic relationship, he suggested.

'We need other international participants to assume the same obligations which have been assumed by the Russian Federation and the US,' said Mr Putin, who met Ms Rice and Mr Gates at his leafy presidential dacha just outside Moscow.

'If we are unable to attain such a goal ... it will be difficult for us to keep within the framework of the treaty in a situation where other countries do develop such weapons systems, and among those are countries in our near vicinity,' he said.

Mr Putin appeared to be referring to the INF treaty - a major cold war agreement signed by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan. Under it, both sides agreed to scrap their arsenals of intermediate range nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles.

Russian defence experts said today that the Kremlin had been unhappy for some time about the treaty because of concerns over the growing mid-range nuclear arsenals of its immediate neighbours such as China, Pakistan and India. Iran is also developing a medium-range missile programme.

The treaty currently only applies to the US and Russia - as well as to the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Belarus. It was widely regarded as being highly disadvantageous to the Soviet Union as it did not include the US's naval nuclear cruise missiles or the nuclear arsenals of Britain or France.

"Russia's nuclear arsenal is still mainly a legacy of the Soviet Union. Its platforms are ageing. Russia feels more and more vulnerable not only from the nuclear forces of the US but from other threats as well," Yevgeny Miasnikov, a senior research scientist at the Centre for Arms Control, Energy and Environment Studies in Moscow told the Guardian. "This move fits into Russia's policy towards arms treaties these days."

Since denouncing the US during a memorable speech in Munich earlier this year, Mr Putin has withdrawn from the conventional arms forces in Europe treaty and resumed long-range patrols by Russia's strategic nuclear bombers - prompting Nato aircraft to scramble in response. Russia has also claimed a giant if symbolic chunk of the Arctic.

Today Mr Putin urged Washington not to rush ahead with its plans to locate elements of a planned missile defence shield in Poland and the Czech Republic. Russia says the shield is a threat to its security and wrecks Europe's strategic balance.

"We hope that in the process of such complex and multifaceted talks, you will not be forcing forward your relations with the eastern European countries," he said.

Ms Rice and Mr Gates spoke to Mr Putin before starting "two-plus-two" talks with their Russian counterparts aimed at airing differences over the missile shield, but which are also expected to touch on disagreements over Iran.

Mr Putin, who does not support western calls for a new round of UN sanctions on Iran, heads to Tehran next week, where he will meet the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Washington says the shield - which includes placing a radar and interceptor missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic - is needed to protect against attack by "rogue" states, such as Iran and North Korea.

Mr Putin has proposed using a Russian-operated early warning radar in Azerbaijan, in exchange for Washington dropping the Polish and Czech sites. There was little sign today of any agreement over missile defence.

In opening remarks at the meeting with Mr Putin, however, Ms Rice said she was hopeful that the two-day talks could narrow differences.

"That which unites us in trying to deal with the threats of terrorism, of proliferation are much greater than the issues that divide us," she said.

"The president promised, and we are here to act upon the promise, that we would try and find ways to cooperate for the common good," she said, referring to a US commitment given earlier this year by George Bush.

Shortly before the talks with Mr Putin began, the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, strolled into the dacha's billiards room, where US reporters had gathered for a cigarette break. He was asked whether he expected any breakthroughs in the talks. "Breaks, definitely. Through or down, I don't know," he said.

Guardian Unlimited ? Guardian News and Media Limited 2007
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Lanya

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Re: Russia Threatens Withdrawal from Cold War Nuclear Treaty
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2007, 11:26:02 AM »
That's a great nugget in the last paragraph. 
Planned Parenthood is America’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care.

Richpo64

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Re: Russia Threatens Withdrawal from Cold War Nuclear Treaty
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2007, 01:49:29 PM »
Are we now to be concerned about other countries with nuclear power?

What's the threat?

Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Russia Threatens Withdrawal from Cold War Nuclear Treaty
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2007, 05:28:27 PM »
Juniorbush has already broken the treaty signed with Gorbachov in which the US agreed that neither the USA nor the USSR would test or produce any more nukes. He claimed that the agreement was void because the USSR no longer existed.

So the "withdrawal" would be what? That the Russkies are the only party adhering to the agreement?

Or was this some other agreement?

It seems to me that Putin considers the Russian Federation to be the continuation of the USSR. It is surely the largest chunk of the former USSR, isn't it?
"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

Michael Tee

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Re: Russia Threatens Withdrawal from Cold War Nuclear Treaty
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2007, 06:23:05 PM »
Looks like the U.S.S.R. wasn't concerned about nukes from France or the UK because they were more vulnerable to Russian counterstrikes, whereas the U.S.A., being a much greater and more distant landmass, as well as possessing a much more formidable first-strike capacity had to be tied up by the treaty.  Wonder what's the new thinking?  That the U.S.A. is more aggressive now and its subs aren't caught by the treaty anyway?  Or that nuclear proliferation by non-participants in the treaty  has raised their risk?

BT

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Re: Russia Threatens Withdrawal from Cold War Nuclear Treaty
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2007, 07:07:34 PM »
Quote
Mr Putin said that Moscow is planning to dump the intermediate range nuclear forces treaty (INF) - signed in a landmark deal between the US and Soviet Union in 1987 - unless countries like China are included in its provisions.

And North Korea and i guess Iran.

Richpo64

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Re: Russia Threatens Withdrawal from Cold War Nuclear Treaty
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2007, 04:11:08 PM »
>>Juniorbush has already broken the treaty signed with Gorbachov in which the US agreed that neither the USA nor the USSR ...<<

I'd like to point out something to you. There is no more USSR. How can you have a treaty with a nation that no longer exists? Put aside your love for the former Soviet Union for a second and ask yourself that question.

Michael Tee

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Re: Russia Threatens Withdrawal from Cold War Nuclear Treaty
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2007, 04:37:29 PM »
<<I'd like to point out something to you. There is no more USSR. How can you have a treaty with a nation that no longer exists? Put aside your love for the former Soviet Union for a second and ask yourself that question.>>

It's called succession, Rich.  States form, dissolve and re-form all the time.  When the Village of Forest Hill amalgamated into the City of Toronto, its streets didn't disappear from the earth, and its contracts with its municipal workers didn't dissolve into thin air.  The City of Toronto succeeded to the Village of Forest Hill.  Then the City of Toronto merged into the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto.  Same thing all over again.  Then the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto morphed back into the City of Toronto again.  Sorta like New York, the five boroughs, etc.  You think every time one state or municipality combines or breaks up, all its contracts suddenly become null and void?

Where do you live, in a cave in the Ozark Mountains?

Richpo64

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Re: Russia Threatens Withdrawal from Cold War Nuclear Treaty
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2007, 10:06:25 PM »
Mike, get your head out of your ass.

Would you like us to honor our treaties we had with say Napoleon's France? Time marches on for some of us. We do what's in the best interest of the good ole USA.

So sorry Mike, we are no longer bound to honor treaties that we made with your Communist friends who've gone the way of the doe doe.


Brassmask

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Re: Russia Threatens Withdrawal from Cold War Nuclear Treaty
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2007, 11:50:51 PM »
Would you like us to honor our treaties we had with say Napoleon's France?

Um Yeah, if they're still relevant. 

The USSR is NOT that long dead.  We still have nukes and so do they.  I think the treaty applies absolutely.  Why do you guys have such an insane lust for war and such an inane disdain for trust and partnership?

Richpo64

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Re: Russia Threatens Withdrawal from Cold War Nuclear Treaty
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2007, 12:02:47 AM »
>>The USSR is NOT that long dead.<<

It's been nearly twenty years.

Old treaties are useless. New one's could be in order, but there's no sense in honoring an agreement with a party that no longer exists.

Michael Tee

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Re: Russia Threatens Withdrawal from Cold War Nuclear Treaty
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2007, 04:55:59 AM »
<<Mike, get your head out of your ass.>>

OK Rich, now what?

<<Would you like us to honor our treaties we had with say Napoleon's France? >>

That's how it works, Rich.  Treaties are made nation-to-nation, not regime-to-regime.  Otherwise a treaty made in your fantasy world would have to be renegotiated every time the regime of one of the contracting parties changed.  Do you think a collective agreement between employer and its unionized employees changes every time the employer merges or amalgamates with another corporation?

<<Time marches on for some of us. >>

Aren't you special.

<<We do what's in the best interest of the good ole USA.>>

We've all noticed.  Regardless of your treaty obligations.

<<So sorry Mike, we are no longer bound to honor treaties that we made with your Communist friends who've gone the way of the doe doe.>>

Seems like you're not bound to honour ANY treaties you made with anyone, including the Charter of the United Nations, the UN Convention Against Torture, the Charter of the Organization of American States or even the North American Free Trade Agreement.  I'm impressed.  Your signature on a Treaty or a Convention doesn't mean shit.  You've come a long way, baby.  You've finally found a leader that's worthy of you.

yellow_crane

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Re: Russia Threatens Withdrawal from Cold War Nuclear Treaty
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2007, 09:49:00 PM »
<<Mike, get your head out of your ass.>>

OK Rich, now what?

<<Would you like us to honor our treaties we had with say Napoleon's France? >>

That's how it works, Rich.  Treaties are made nation-to-nation, not regime-to-regime.  Otherwise a treaty made in your fantasy world would have to be renegotiated every time the regime of one of the contracting parties changed.  Do you think a collective agreement between employer and its unionized employees changes every time the employer merges or amalgamates with another corporation?

<<Time marches on for some of us. >>

Aren't you special.

<<We do what's in the best interest of the good ole USA.>>

We've all noticed.  Regardless of your treaty obligations.

<<So sorry Mike, we are no longer bound to honor treaties that we made with your Communist friends who've gone the way of the doe doe.>>

Seems like you're not bound to honour ANY treaties you made with anyone, including the Charter of the United Nations, the UN Convention Against Torture, the Charter of the Organization of American States or even the North American Free Trade Agreement.  I'm impressed.  Your signature on a Treaty or a Convention doesn't mean shit.  You've come a long way, baby.  You've finally found a leader that's worthy of you.



Interesting how this breezy contempt for the country's foundations came onto the public stage.

Both Bush and his little perro Gonzales make trivializing remarks about the Constitution, how it was outdated and "just a piece of paper" as well as similar trashs from other, always glib Neocons.  I once saw Brother Jeb on the tube starting to dismiss it once while being interveiwed, but seemed to stop just short.  It was like he heard it a club rally, but we had not, but, being smarter than your average Neocon, he played dumb-ass to his brother's smart-ass.

And all the while, their spin machine putting out 24/7 how their opponents are "UnAmerican."

Folks like Richie may have learned it at the megachurch.  Now that is scary.

What will work politically is someone coming along who will make the public realize it is justifiably confused, given the success of the propaganda industry, and that they are mixed-up directly proportionate to how mixed-up our processes have become.  Advertising should not be more powerful than Education.

Never in the history of America has America needed a leader more.

If the messianic metaphor is indeed applicable, the only outsider out side enough to count is Gore.

The people would trust somebody who got promised pink, got knocked down, and stood back up with that "you fucked with the wrong person" look in their steady, glowering eye.

In these days and times, you cannot trust anyone to go up against those deserving powers that be unless they are capable of kicking ass.  Buttering up corporate barbarism with blissninny will not work.  Americans have felt somewhat safer since the Neocons were slapped down from their rank, outrageous bullying, but they also know they have to have somebody who can kick ass.

Had I the choice, it would be that redheaded fellow from Va.

And, to demonstate my latent bi partianship, I would pick John Dean for Attorney General.

Plane

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Re: Russia Threatens Withdrawal from Cold War Nuclear Treaty
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2007, 12:05:33 AM »
  Why is Putin worried that NATO would attack Russia?

    A lot of NATO is EU and that they would want to attack Russia sees unlikely in the very extreme.


    A poitical use for the fiction is more evident than a military threat to Russia from Europe.

Michael Tee

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Re: Russia Threatens Withdrawal from Cold War Nuclear Treaty
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2007, 09:04:40 AM »
<<Why is Putin worried that NATO would attack Russia?

   << A lot of NATO is EU and that they would want to attack Russia sees unlikely in the very extreme.>>


Come now, plane.  You seem like a very historically-minded fellow.  Surely you can't have forgotten that the two leading continental members of the EU, France and Germany, have both attacked Russia in the past.   As have Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Italy and Croatia, to name the few that I can think of off-hand.  Non-European members of NATO that have attacked Russia include Canada and the U.S.A. in an assault that France and the U.K. also participated in.    Russia has plenty of good reasons to fear an attack from NATO or the EU and every reason to prepare against it.  A better question for you might well be:  Who IF NOT the EU or NATO would ever attack Russia?

And an even better question, of course, would be "Why did the U.S. claim to be worried that Iraq might attack it?"