February 5, Russia and the United States announced that they would extend the new strategic arms reduction treaty until February 5, 2026, before the only major arms control treaty in effect, was about to expire.
The content of the treaty remained unchanged, giving the international community “consolation”. Pills”.
Although the renewal of the contract between the two countries is not an opportunity to “break the ice”, the United States, which eventually released the contract, made a decision mainly in terms of its own practical interests rather than to improve relations with Russia, but it is a positive action for both sides and the world to avoid the arms race crisis of a major powers like Russia.
The opportunity is conducive to the peace of the international environmen
Renew the previous contract,
Nuclear arms control treaty has been preserved
After the United States “out” one after another, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty became the only major arms control treaty in force between Russia and the United States.
Nearly 11 years ago, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty was signed by Russian and American leaders and entered into force on February 5, 2011. It is valid for 10 years.
Under the treaty, the two countries are required to reduce their nuclear warheads to 1,550 and 800 delivery vehicles seven years after the entry into force of the treaty, of which no more than 700 have been deployed.
“Of course, this is still enough to destroy the world,” pointed out Foreign Policy magazine.
“But [the treaty] makes it easier to control.”
Jiang Yi, a researcher at the Russian Institute of Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, pointed out in an interview with Chinanews.com: “After the end of the cold war, Russia and the United States vigorously promoted the reduction of strategic weapons according to their own interests and needs and changes in the international security situation.” From the end of the cold war to today’s about 30 years, these treaties have played a relatively important role, and the two sides have also made more efforts.
Previously, as the expiration date of the treaty approached, Russia had repeatedly offered to renew the contract, but the former Trump administration responded negatively.
It was not until January 26, 2021, only 10 days before the expiration of the treaty that the newly appointed U.S. President Biden talked to Russian President Putin and agreed to complete the necessary procedures for the renewal of the contract in the near future.
February 3, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying that the treaty extension agreement had entered into force.
“For Russia and the United States, [the treaty] is an important area of limited cooperation.” Li Dong, deputy director of the Eurasian Research Institute of the China Institute of Modern International Relations, pointed out that for the overall environment, renewal of the contract is of positive significance for maintaining world stability and security.
Reach a “agreement” at the last minute
Russia and the United States have their own considerations.
In fact, it took less than two weeks from the Biden administration to take office to seek renewal to the successful renewal of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
Li Dong pointed out that the “key ball” is on the side of the United States. After the Biden administration launched the extension initiative, Russia immediately put it into action, which means that Russia intends to cooperate with the United States.
From Russia’s point of view, renewal of the contract is not only conducive to maintaining its position in the field of international strategic stability, easing confrontation with the United States, but also avoiding being dragged into a costly arms race.
For the United States, the main reason why the former Trump administration has been delaying on renewing the contract is that it “polizes the unilateralist policies adopted by the United States after the end of the Cold War”.
Jiang Yi said, “He prefers to maintain the so-called new military industry system realized according to the will of the United States.
More importantly, it is necessary to highlight the leading role of the United States in the so-called new military industrial system manipulated by the United States. Of course, this has encountered a lot of diplomatic and political resistance.
At the same time, the United States has also estimated the process of modernizing its nuclear forces, believing that it is more in its own interest to renew the contract. Since the second half of 2020, the attitude of the United States towards contract renewal has changed.
By 2021, when Biden came to power, the adjustment of U.S. policy was also “in the right”.
In addition, the Democratic Party of the United States has always advocated further reduction of nuclear forces.
For his part, Biden, as then Vice President, actively pushed for the Senate to adopt the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in 2011, and the renewal of the contract is also a continuation of the achievements of this diplomatic heritage.
After he came to power, the suspense of renewal almost cleared up.
Can these treaties still be “activated”?
On February 3, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out that Russia and the United States need to work hard to push the dialogue in the arms control field of the two sides back on a stable track.
the same day, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken also stated that he would “seek to reach an arms control agreement with Russia involving all Russian nuclear weapons”.
Some analysts believe that these statements may reveal more signals and pose new challenges, that is, will the “wrestle” and decision-making of the two major countries of Russia and the United States in arms control enter the next stage?
In recent years, after the United States withdrew from the ABM Treaty, the INF Treaty and the Open Skies Treaty, the arms control system has been destroyed.
The Russian and American military arition seems to be on the verge of breaking out.
Li Dong analyzed that although the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty was extended for about five years, opening up space for the two sides to continue negotiations on the issue of limiting nuclear weapons, “the withdrawal and abolition of the treaty have become history and it is difficult to go back”.
In Jiang Yi’s opinion, if we want to restore the Open Sky Treaty, which Russia and the United States have successively announced the suspension, the conditions are probably not ripe.
The treaty was originally intended to reflect mutual trust between Russia and the United States, but now the relationship between the two countries has not changed significantly.
Despite Biden’s rise to power, “Bilateral relations remain frozen, and the hostility between the two countries remains.”
As for the INF Treaty, Jiang Yi said that the issues involved were more complex and specific. In the short term, there is no sign that the United States will take positive steps
In the next four years,
The “old opponent” will also fight…
Public opinion generally believes that the “dividends” of Russia and the United States’ contract renewal is only a drop in the bucket for improving bilateral relations.
“From the perspective of the United States, it is still considered in terms of its own practical interests, not as a contribution to improving Russia-US relations, but as a consideration of safeguarding the interests of the United States and liberalizing its strategic forces.” Jiang Yi pointed out that the development and thawing of Russian-American relations may still face a series of obstacles.
Specifically, first of all, the anti-Russian political foundation in the United States is very deep within both parties. Secondly, Biden and his executive team have actually directly participated in the Russian-American “miscities” process after 2014, including sanctions against Russia in the past few years, including the Obama administration, which cannot be short-term. Internal transformation; finally, the views and positions of the two sides still differ on a series of international and regional issues.
“In the next four years, Russia-US relations will not fundamentally improve, nor will there be a fundamental change. From the perspective of Russian officials, scholars, people and other aspects, there is no great expectation for the improvement of relations between the two countries. Li Dong said.
On the 3rd, Blinken statement also seemed to confirm these views.
“We engage with Russia in a way that promotes American interests, including seeking to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty for five years, and holding broader discussions to reduce the possibility of crises and conflicts,” the new U.S. Secretary of State said. “[But] we remain vigilant about Russia’s composition of the United States and the world. The challenge of.”