Finland has built a reputation for being a larger peacemaker. To polish your image, it is also appropriate for the country to offer a negotiating table and relevant refreshments on Monday as Russia and the United States try to blow a new flame into the charcoal of the New START agreement, which restricts nuclear weapons.
– Finland welcomes the negotiators, this time the Ambassador Marshall Billingslean and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rjabkovin, welcome again. Finland is always ready to offer its good services to promote peace and security, Office of the President informed.
Naturally, the President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö giggles in the backdrop and asks the negotiators for moods after a long day. But what kind of outcome can even be achieved with the New START?
The background is the US presidential election and the pressure it is causing Donald Trumpin administration. The Contract Period for the new START expires appropriately in February 2021, and neither party has shown much interest in continuing it.
Still in charge of negotiations earlier this year Vladimir Leontiev told the Duma that there was no time to redraft the agreement. According to Leontjev, the only option is to continue it as it is or to reject it.
Trump has marketed its New START predecessor Barack Obaman as a miserable legacy. From the U.S. perspective, the agreement is obsolete because it does not in any way restrict the armaments of China outside the agreement.
Looking at China from a Russian perspective is pointless, however, as it has significantly fewer nuclear warheads than the two Cold War superpowers.
Fit into the election campaign?
Under the current agreement, both the United States and Russia are limited to “only” 1,550 nuclear warheads, in addition to which 700 may be mounted on missiles and bombers. Twice a year, both parties have the right to inspect the stockpiles covered by the agreement, which serves as a source of unique intelligence.
However, the clock on Judgment Day will not move in half or the other depending on the outcome of Monday’s deliberations. Russia has already succumbed to its fate. Its armed forces cannot compete with U.S. military might.
The new START will only continue if Trump now misses the positive news about disarmament. It is noteworthy that, according to Leontjev, the other party was not even interested in continuing the negotiations until the beginning of the year.
If Billingslean and Ryabkov do not find common ground on Monday, the last nuclear weapon restriction between the great powers will disappear. However, the agreement is now closer than it was a moment ago.
The first palpations took place in Vienna in August. At the time, Billingslean already admitted that China would not be included in the agreement, despite the will of the United States. Until then, it had been a threshold issue for the Trump administration.
Something had changed, and the most cynical only suspected it was Joe Biden poll numbers.
– The termination of the agreement would undermine US security, as it would remove all restrictions on Russia’s modernization of its own nuclear arsenal. Similarly, its continuation would not bring any new problems to the Carnegie think tank Pranay Vaddi justified in his presentation to Congress.
“Risk of racing equipment”
The new START is, of course, a continuation of the name Boris Yeltsin and George H.W. Bushin the original START agreement of 1991. After that, START II stumbled during the ratification phase, and no agreement was ever reached on START III.
For many, however, it is not just a buzzword. The new START is currently the only agreement in force that limits the number of nuclear weapons in the United States and Russia. Its end would send a bad signal about the state of the world.
– I think START must continue no matter what happens to China, UN Secretary-General António Guterres your line.
– It’s necessary. Otherwise, there is a real risk that we will return to completely unlimited racing equipment.