World

May 24, 2013

Russia wary of deeper nuclear arms cuts

Vladimir Isachenkov
Associated Press

Russia’s top military officer May 22 voiced skepticism about deeper nuclear arms cuts, saying they should require parallel reductions in non-nuclear precision weapons.

The statement by chief of Russia’s military General Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, appeared to signal the Kremlin’s reluctance to negotiate a new nuclear arms deal with Washington.

President Barack Obama, who signed the landmark New Start arms treaty with Russia, has pledged to work with Moscow to seek further reductions in nuclear arsenals. But Russia, which has increasingly relied on its nuclear deterrent due to a relative weakness of its conventional forces, is worried about the U.S. edge in precision weapons.

ìWe can’t take the path of cutting only strategic nuclear arsenals and leaving outside the framework of talks other weapons, in which some of our partners have an indisputable quantitative and qualitative advantage,î Gerasimov said, adding that such approach would hurt Russia’s security.

While he did not mention the United States, Gerasimov appeared to refer to U.S. plans to fit conventional warheads to some of its long-range nuclear missiles. He said that such weapons should be part of arms control talks.

The United States has considered the development of so-called ìprompt global strikeî weapons that would allow the Pentagon to strike targets anywhere on the globe in as little as an hour. Such plans included modifying some of the existing nuclear-armed missiles to carry conventional warheads as well as designing new hypersonic vehicles capable of traveling at speeds at least five times the speed of sound.

Russia, which has lagged behind in designing such weapons, has strongly opposed the U.S. plans, saying it could tilt the balance of power.

ìSuch precision weapons, which don’t fall under any qualitative, quantitative or territorial restrictions, can be used to target strategic facilities,î Gerasimov said at Moscow’s international security conference that was sponsored by the Defense Ministry.

Gerasimov’s statement came as a clear indication that Russia would likely reject any attempts by Obama’s administration to negotiate only on deeper nuclear arms cuts.

Russian officials said Obama offered Russia’s President Vladimir Putin new ways to cooperate in a letter delivered last month by Tom Donilon, Obama’s national security adviser.

The Kremlin wouldn’t divulge the letter’s content, but the business daily Kommersant reported last week that it included a proposal to negotiate deeper nuclear arms cuts and offered to sign a deal on information exchange to assuage Moscow’s concerns about the U.S.-led NATO missile defense plans for Europe.

Gerasimov and other Russian officials, who spoke at the May 22 conference, reaffirmed Moscow’s strong concern about the U.S. missile shield.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Constitutional questions grow over Japan PM’s military plans

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pledge to the U.S. to increase Japan’s military contribution internationally is facing more questions about potential conflicts with the nation’s pacifist Constitution. Opposition lawmakers demanded answers from key Cabinet members at a hearing June 10, after three prominent constitution experts–including one chosen by Abe’s rul...
 
 

Japan, Philippines to talk about transfer of military goods

Japan and the Philippines agreed June 4 to start talks on transferring Japanese military hardware and technology to the Southeast Asian country trying to upgrade its defenses. Tokyo eased restrictions on exports of military equipment and technology last year as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to expand Japan’s military role abroad. Under a...
 
 

U.S., India move forward on joint military research projects

After several years of bureaucratic delays, the U.S. and India are moving ahead with two joint research projects for the military that officials hope will set the stage for greater defense cooperation in the years ahead. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar signed a defense agreement June 4, as part of...
 

 

Saudi Arabia becomes world’s biggest defense importer

Saudi Arabia has passed India to become the world’s biggest arms importer last year as concerns about Iran’s ambitions increase tensions in the Middle East. Saudi spending rose 54 percent to $6.5 billion last year, while India imported $5.8 billion, according to data released Sunday by IHS, a leading analyst of the global arms trade....
 
 

China defense spending to grow 10.1 percent in 2015

China said March 5 it will boost defense spending by 10.1 percent, a smaller rise than last year but in line with large annual increases that have drawn concern among the country’s neighbors over Beijing’s military and territorial ambitions. Beijing says the higher spending is needed to modernize equipment and improve conditions for the 2.3...
 
 

Kremlin pursues military modernization despite economic woes

Hundreds of new Russian aircraft, tanks and missiles are rolling off assembly lines. Russian jets roar through European skies under NATO’s wary eye. Tens of thousands of troops take part in war games showing off the military’s readiness for all-out war. The muscle flexing suggests that Russia’s economic woes so far are having no impact...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>