With only two weeks to expire, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the only arms control treaty between Russia and the United States, White House Press Secretary Jane Pusaki said on the 21st that the Biden administration sought to extend the treaty for five years because it was in line with the national security interests of the United States. Benefits.
However, this does not mean that Russian-US relations have entered a “honeymoon period”. Pusaki said that the United States wants Russia to pay the price for its “hostile behavior”. Some commentators said that unlike previous administrations, Biden did not seek to “reset” bilateral relations with Moscow in the early days of his administration.
Some analysts said that the prospect of Russian-US relations is “not optimistic”, the two countries will usher in conflict points on cybersecurity, the situation in the Middle East and other issues, and Washington may continue the means of sanctions against Russia.
There are also U.S. media that cooperation with Russia in areas of vital importance in areas of world peace and well-being, such as the threat of nuclear war and climate change. Instead of blindly trying to contain Russia through sanctions, the United States needs to engage in a serious and continuous strategic dialogue with it to resolve deep contradictions and jointly address security challenges.
“The ball is on the American side”
White House Press Secretary Pousaki said at a press conference on the 21st that the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is currently “the only treaty to restrict Russian nuclear forces” and a pillar of strategic stability between the two countries.
In the current confrontational relationship with Russia, the extension of the treaty is a more meaningful move.
The Wall Street Journal commented on the 22nd that the Biden administration’s move is the first major foreign policy action to seek to address national security challenges while responding to the domestic COVID-19 epidemic and economic difficulties.
The Russian satellite network said on the 22nd that the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which entered into force in 2011, aims to limit the number of strategic nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles deployed by Russia and the United States.
Seven years after the entry into force of the Treaty, the two countries must reduce their nuclear warheads to 1,550, and no more than 800 delivery vehicles.
After the INF Treaty expired in 2019, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty became the only arms control treaty between Russia and the United States. It will expire on February 5, 2021 and its validity period can be extended for up to five years after consultation between the two countries.
Russian President Press Secretary Peskov said on the 22nd that Moscow welcomes Washington’s political will to seek the extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, but all depends on the details of the proposal.
According to a report by the Russian News Agency on the 22nd, Kosacev, chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the Russian Federation Commission (the upper house of the parliament), said: “If there are no conditions attached to this position of the United States…
This is very good news.” We are ready to have a dialogue on this,” said Slutsky, a member of the Russian Duma. “At present, the ball is on the American side.”
Russia’s Communist Youth League Pravda said on the 22nd that Russia had repeatedly called on the United States not to delay in resolving the extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
Moscow initially proposed an unconditional five-year extension, but after the negotiations did not progress, it said that it should be extended for at least one year.” It seems that Biden has accepted Putin’s advice now, which is a good start. Russian military expert Baranets said.
Vasiliev, director of the Russian Center for International Environmental Security, stressed that the treaty is necessary for the whole world, because any unexpected event on the nuclear weapons issue between Russia and the United States may lead to disaster for all mankind.
According to the Wall Street Journal, arms control experts have been debating whether the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is so valuable that the United States can agree to an unconditional extension, or whether it should try to make Russia make concessions.
Some foreign policy scholars suggest a slight extension of the validity period to enable the United States to have more chips, such as allowing Russia to agree to carry out follow-up negotiations covering more weapons, including short-range tactical nuclear weapons.
Marshall Billingsley, the head of the Trump administration’s strategic arms reduction negotiator, said on the 21st that Biden “is surprisingly lacks negotiation skills” and that his team “spent only 24 hours wasting our most important influence on Russia”.
There are also objections to such arguments.” There is no evidence that the shorter the extension period, the greater the possibility that Russia (with the United States) negotiate a new agreement.” The five-year extension will provide the most time to solve difficult and complex issues for potential follow-up negotiations, said Kingston Reeve, a member of the American NGO Arms Control Association.
The Wall Street Journal said that the Biden administration’s approach could provide a certain degree of predictability in the arms race between the United States and Russia.
U.S. media: Biden does not intend to “reset” the relationship between the United States and Russia
Pusaki said on the 21st that while cooperating with Russia to promote the interests of the United States, “we are also trying to hold Russia accountable for its reckless hostile acts”.
She said Biden has instructed intelligence to conduct a comprehensive review of the massive cyberattack on U.S. government agencies, Russian interference in the 2020 U.S. election, the poisoning of Russian opposition personnel Navalny, and Russia’s reward for killing of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, she said. Based on these assessments, we will respond to Russia’s provocation in the next few weeks.” An American official told the media.
“Biden intends to take tough measures against Russia.” The Washington Post reported on the 21st that Biden’s plan to introduce punitive measures against Russia at the beginning of his term is “unique” compared with previous administrations.
This was the first ruling team that came to power after the end of the Cold War without promising a more friendly relationship with Russia.” Angela Stent, an intelligence officer under the Bush administration, said. Anonymous U.S. officials said that Biden had ruled out the possibility of “resetting” bilateral relations with Moscow.
“We cannot comment on the instructions of the President of the United States.” In response to Biden’s request for a review of the Russian issue, Peskoff said on the 22nd, “We remember that [the United States] has conducted several investigations into the so-called Russian interference in internal affairs, which cost a lot of American taxpayers’ money.
Later, we heard the official ruling that there was no so-called interference.”
The New York Times commented that putting together the White House’s claim to extend the arms control treaty and make Russia pay for its own behavior shows that Biden’s “two-step” strategy to curb Russian influence is very complicated.
His aides said that the president chose to extend the treaty for five years to avoid a nuclear arms race at a time of “sustained and low-level” confrontation with Russia in other fields.
Deterrence and detente
The Australian think tank Loy Institute for International Policy said on the 22nd that the Russian issue is one of the top priorities after Biden took office.
This year’s relevant agenda of the U.S. government includes several key issues, such as strategic stability dilemmas and unresolved regional conflicts.
The New York Times analyzed that the relationship between the United States and Russia faces many challenges, and “the outlook is not optimistic”. During Biden’s tenure, the relationship between the United States and Russia will be quite tense, if not hostile.
The newspaper dumped the “pot” to Russia, saying that although Russia was already a clear competitor of the United States under the Obama administration, it is now more “bold”, and the challenge to the United States extends beyond its surrounding areas to Western Europe, Africa, Latin America and even the Arctic.
In the view of Michael McFall, the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, democracy and human rights may be the key areas of friction between the United States and Russia in the coming years. He predicted that the economic sanctions imposed by the United States on Russian individuals and entities will continue, “unless Russia changes its behavior”.
On the 22nd, Russia’s “Opinion” quoted Mattvechev, a professor at Russia’s Higher University of Economics, as saying that after the new U.S. government came to power, it may use the Navalny incident to intervene in Russia’s internal situation.
Manoilo, a professor at Moscow State University, said that the United States will not stop launching an information war against Russia. Now it is necessary to build a team that can respond appropriately to the provocative behavior of the United States.
However, American experts interviewed by the New York Times recently said that it is inevitable to maintain a “two-track relationship” with Russia: on the one hand, Washington should try to curb Moscow’s influence, and on the other hand, it should cooperate with it on international issues, such as arms control, prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Previously, the U.S. Political News Network said that Washington’s diplomatic measures against Moscow in recent years were mainly counterattacks, sanctions, public humiliation and congressional resolutions.
The huge challenges that require cooperation between the United States and Russia to solve have not been ignored, including the threat of nuclear war and climate change.
The article argues that while sanctions should be part of policy towards Russia, they need to be wisely targeted and used in combination with national forces such as diplomacy.
The attitude of the United States towards Russia needs to maintain a balance between deterrence and detente. It should engage in a serious and continuous strategic dialogue with each other to address the deeper root causes of mistrust and hostility, while paying attention to the huge and urgent security challenges facing the two countries.