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27/martie/2010 Un moment istoric (sau nu?): Rusia şi SUA au ajuns la un acord de reducere a arsenalelor nucleare

Obama Seals Arms Control Deal With Russia

By PETER BAKER and HELENE COOPER

The New York Times, March 26, 2010
WASHINGTON — President Obama finalized a new arms control treaty with Russia on Friday that will pare back the still-formidable cold war nuclear arsenals of each country. The agreement brings to fruition one of the president’s signature foreign policy objectives, just days after he signed into law the most expansive domestic program in decades.

Ending a year of sometimes topsy-turvy negotiations, Mr. Obama and President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia sealed the deal in a morning telephone call, confirming resolution of the last outstanding details. They then announced they will fly to Prague to sign the treaty on April 8 in a ceremony designed to showcase improved relations between the two countries.

“With this agreement, the United States and Russia, the two largest nuclear powers in the world, also send a clear signal that we intend to lead,” Mr. Obama said, appearing in front of reporters at the White House to announce the agreement. “By upholding our own commitments under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, we strengthen our global efforts to stop the spread of these weapons, and to ensure that other nations meet their own responsibilities.”

“It took patience, it took perseverance,” Mr. Obama said, referring to the months-long talks. “But we never gave up.”

In Moscow, the Kremlin hailed the accord.

Preşedinţii B. Obama şi D. Medvedev, discutând (pesemne) care dintre ei avea arsenalul mai mare – EURAST

“The presidents agreed that the new treaty marks a higher level of cooperation between Russia and the United States in the development of new strategic relations,” a Kremlin statement said.The new treaty will reduce the binding limit on deployed strategic nuclear warheads by more than one-quarter, and on launchers by half. It will reestablish an inspection and verification regime, replacing one that expired in December. But while the pact recognizes the dispute between the two countries over American plans for missile defense based in Europe, it will not restrict the United States from building such a shield.

Instead, the two sides each drafted separate nonbinding statements reiterating their positions on missile defense. Russia warned in its statement that it reserved the right to withdraw from the new treaty if it decided that American missile defense plans were developing in a way that threatened its security. The United States asserted in its statement that it would develop missile defense as it saw fit, but offered assurance that the program was not aimed at Russia nor at undermining the security balance between the two countries.

The Kremlin statement on Friday also hinted at Russia’s concerns about plans for an American antimissile system.

“The status of the interconnection between strategic offensive and strategic defensive weapons will be registered in a legally binding form, as well as the growing significance of this relationship in the process of reducing strategic nuclear weapons,” it said.

Mrs. Clinton said that she did not anticipate any trouble getting the agreement ratified by the Senate, noting that arms control agreements in the past have sailed through. And, in a moment of levity, she joked that the Obama administration would be happy to help the Russian government get the treaty through the Duma.

“President Obama has said that he will send Rahm Emanuel to Moscow” to help out, she said, laughing, referring to Mr. Obama’s bulldog chief of staff. “We all endorsed that offer.”

While it was a coincidence that the arms agreement came together in the same week that Mr. Obama signed the health care overhaul plan into law, the serendipity energized a White House that until recently had been beleaguered by criticism that it could not achieve its lofty goals. The twin victories, White House officials argued, vindicated Mr. Obama’s patient persistence and demonstrated that he can get results, even if not as quickly as he initially hoped.

The new treaty takes another step toward closing the books on the defining struggle of the final half of the 20th century. But it also marks the opening of a broader campaign to counter the emerging threats of the 21st century. While it will require that hundreds of weapons be shelved or destroyed, perhaps more important are the tangible evidence it offers of a new partnership with Russia and the momentum it creates toward a revamped nuclear security regime.

Mr. Obama hopes that signing the treaty with Mr. Medvedev will strengthen his hand heading into two back-to-back nuclear summit meetings, where he wants to push toward the nuclear weapons-free world he envisions. At the two meetings, Mr. Obama hopes to forge an international consensus to limit the spread of weapons and secure materials that could be vulnerable to terrorists, efforts that could be accelerated by the new treaty.

“The larger meaning is the delegitimization of nuclear weapons,” said Kenneth N. Luongo, president of the Partnership for Global Security, a nonprofit group pushing for aggressive efforts at the upcoming meetings. “Obama will be able to go, and Medvedev as well, and say, ‘Here’s what we did on disarmament. Now we need to get serious about nuclear terrorism and nuclear materials.’ “

Stephen Sestanovich, a former ambassador to former Soviet republics, said that the White House views the new treaty as “the key that turns a great many other locks.” But he cautioned, writing on the Web site of the Council on Foreign Relations, that the deep mistrust between the United States and Russia stubbornly remains: “The new treaty will not put it to rest.”

The specific arms reductions embedded in the new treaty amount to a continuing evolution rather than a radical shift in the nuclear postures of both countries. According to people in Washington and Moscow who were briefed on the new treaty, it will lower the legal limit on deployed strategic warheads to 1,550 each, from the 2,200 allowed as of 2012 under the previous treaty. It would lower the limit on launchers to 800 from the 1,600 now permitted. Nuclear-armed missiles and heavy bombers would be capped at 700 each.

The United States currently has 2,100 deployed strategic warheads and Russia 2,600, according to the Federation of American Scientists and the Natural Resources Defense Council, so each side will have to cut hundreds within seven years after the treaty is ratified. But both sides have been cutting launchers unilaterally for years, with the United States already down below 1,200 and Russia already at the 800 level permitted in the new treaty. Moreover, the treaty does not limit the thousands of tactical nuclear bombs and stored strategic warheads each side has.

The notion that “this is somehow great news or a breakthrough” in fact “is hardly the case,” said Peter Huessy, president of GeoStrategic Analysis, a national security consulting business. As a matter of percentages, Mr. Huessy noted that the treaty cuts warheads only half as much as the Treaty of Moscow signed in 2002 by President George W. Bush did. “What did we get out of the deal?” he asked. “Nothing that I can see, and I have been doing nuclear stuff, including arms control, since 1981.”

The Obama administration readily acknowledges the limitations of the new treaty. But from the beginning, the White House described it as an effort aimed especially at building a foundation of trust with Moscow and establishing an inspection regime to replace the one that expired in December along with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or Start. After a successful first round, Mr. Obama plans to open another round of negotiations to cut arsenals even further, including stored warheads and tactical weapons. And eventually he envisions bringing other nuclear powers like China, Britain and France into discussions.

Disarmament is only part of the agenda. Mr. Obama will be host to the leaders of as many as 45 countries in Washington on April 12, four days after the treaty signing in Prague, to discuss how to prevent nuclear material from falling into the wrong hands. No president has ever before gathered more than 40 heads of state for a stand-alone summit meeting, according to the White House.

And then a month after that, world leaders will gather in New York for the regular review conference of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, where they will consider how to keep more countries from developing weapons like North Korea has and, according to Western leaders, Iran is pursuing. Mr. Obama also wants to negotiate a treaty on fissile materials, and plans to press the Senate to finally ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Nikolai Sokov, a former Soviet arms negotiator now at the Monterrey Institute of International Studies in California, said the new pact was “both modest and essential” to more lasting accomplishments.

“So much effort has been spent in the last several months that there is a tendency to see it as a major step forward,” he said. “I think 10 years from now, we will see it for what it is — a small bridge treaty, without which subsequent, much bigger achievement would not have been possible.”

Clifford J. Levy contributed reporting from Moscow.

Anunțuri

27 Martie 2010 - Posted by | Geopolitica, Intelo | , , ,

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