The United States and NATO have rejected a list of Russian requests to resolve the ongoing military crisis over Ukraine, but on Wednesday gave Moscow the opportunity to further discuss arms control and missile deployment. fire. This is the latest development in diplomatic tension as Russia has deployed 100,000 troops along its border with Ukraine for months, raising fears of a spreading war.
“There is a real risk of new armed conflict in Europe,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters after a four-hour meeting between the US, Russia and all 30 NATO members. “There are significant differences between NATO allies and Russia. Our differences will not be easy to bridge, but it is a positive sign that all NATO allies and Russia have come together at the same table and engaged in important topics.”
The Brussels talks marked the first formal meeting between NATO and Russian officials in nearly three years. Stoltenberg said the NATO allies are committed to future discussions on topics where progress can be made, including reducing threats in space and cyberspace, increasing transparency of military exercises and nuclear non-proliferation. The alliance told Russia it was ready to schedule a series of meetings on arms issues, but the Russian delegation needed more time before committing to further discussions.
The US, NATO and Russia have all shown willingness to establish some form of arms control agreement similar to the now defunct deal. Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which has phased out intermediate-range nuclear-tipped missiles in Europe for three decades before it ends in 2019. Reaching the new treaty will include months of negotiations, a resolution to the situation. ongoing unrest in Ukraine and sorting out the issues that led to the treaty’s termination. more than two years ago. However, all sides acknowledged the need to address the ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles, which are seen as destabilizing because of their ability to launch a nuclear attack in Europe without warning. need early warning.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko on Wednesday said all parties must declare a ban on such weapons. There is no need to go back to the days of the 1970s and 1980s, he said, when false warnings about missile launches in Europe were commonplace and there was a risk of accidental nuclear war. “Europe should declare its position and prevent such a scenario from happening in the current security situation,” Grushko said in Brussels.
The original request to reinstate the missile treaty is among a long list of requests from the Russian Foreign Ministry published in two draft treaty drafts in December. The documents outline what Moscow seeks from the United States and other countries. their allies in Europe amid growing concerns about Ukraine. The most controversial of these demands is that NATO stops allowing new members to join the alliance and requires NATO members to withdraw troops, equipment and weapons from countries bordering Russia. Notably, Ukraine is not a NATO member.
Since the end of the Cold War, the NATO alliance has nearly doubled from 16 to 30 countries, including countries more than 600 miles from the German border, which was the previous dividing line after World War II. One by one, Russia watched as seven of the eight countries that had previously signed the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact would eventually join NATO.
The US and NATO say that joining the alliance is up to sovereign states, not the Kremlin. Every need stop its expansion is a not smart. “We will not slam the door on NATO’s open door policy,” said Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. said Wednesday at NATO headquarters in Brussels. “We will not agree that NATO cannot expand any further.”
For now, much of the focus of diplomacy in Geneva remains on avoiding conflict in Ukraine. Russia insists it has no plans to invade, but those words offer little reassurance to US and NATO officials who watched Russian forces invade Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014. Russia-NATO Council meeting on Wednesday and following US-Russia bilateral talks in Geneva on Monday. The third round between the West and Moscow is scheduled for Thursday in Vienna with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Echoes of the Cold War
In 2019, the Trump administration officially withdrew from the INF treaty after accusing Russia of violating the treaty by building, manufacturing, and arming a banned cruise missile, known as the Novator 9M729, after repeated claims. warning from Washington. The 1987 Agreement forced the United States and the Soviet Union then to eliminate more than 2,600 missiles with a range of 310 to 3,420 miles across Europe. The short distance leaves world leaders with very little time to search – let alone strategize to respond appropriately.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced concern about the possibility of the US installing missiles in Ukraine. The Biden administration insists it has no intention of placing missiles in Ukraine, but it has taken other measures that could bring Moscow to attention. In November, as Russia builds up forces near Ukraine, the US Army reactivated its European Theater Fire Command. This unit, known as the 56th Artillery Command, was previously decommissioned in 1991 after the INF treaty was signed.
Separately, not bound by the INF agreement, The US Army almost immediately began development and testing Various medium range missiles back home, is expected to operate next year. While there is no indication that any European allies want them to come to their home countries or that the US plans to deploy them there, the related development favors arms control. The fear of medium-range missiles – which can be launched on a mobile launcher to a remote area, blow up and hit their targets in less than six minutes – is common in the world. European country.
“The loss of the INF treaty has dealt a huge blow to international and European security,” said Shannon Bugos, senior policy analyst at the Arms Control Association. “The United States and Russia should explore arms control efforts to avoid a Euromissile race in the absence of the INF treaty and Russia’s proposed moratorium could be the starting point for such efforts.” .
It took the US six years to convince Russia to remove the Novator 9M729 missile and its respective launchers because it violated the INF treaty. Moscow denies any act of sabotage and instead insists the United States is a party to the agreement, claiming that several planes to intercept US missile defense systems are being built in Poland and Romania. capable of attack. The result was the end of the deal in August 2019.
Its demise has been welcomed by defense advocates, who believe the treaty is outdated and limits the Pentagon’s ability to project power in Europe and also in Asia. United States is now free to deploy the new generation of rockets on both continents to deter Russia and China, which is free to deploy any method of missile use because it is not a signatory to the INF treaty.
Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear weapons analyst with the Center for Nuclear Non-Proliferation Studies at the Center for Non-Proliferation Studies in Monterey, California, says a new deal is intended to limit those names. such fire will look different. The two countries could decide, he said, that limits apply only to Europe instead of the previous comprehensive ban, or involve a verification regime to ensure no missiles carry nuclear warheads. core.
“Verification won’t be easy, but that could be a good thing – in a way, the more intrusive measures the better,” said Pavel Podvig, director of the Russian Nuclear Forces Project. “There are so many ways to do this. To some extent, it’s more important to start the process than to remember a specific end point. In my view, a total ban is not a complete ban. not possible, but perhaps not immediately”.
https://time.com/6138916/ukraine-russia-nuclear-missile-treaty/ Russia considers arms control talks for fear of war in Ukraine