Sunday, 6 April 2008

Sochi Declaration on Arms Control and Disarmament

President's Putin and Bush have agreed a Strategic Framework declaration. There is substantial content on arms control between the two countries.

There is no commitment to continuing the Moscow Treaty past 2012, but there is a commitment to continuing to negotiate a legal framework to continue the START I Treaty after its 2009 expiration. This is problematic as the Russian Duma and the US Senate will have to ratify any deal, and time is running very short, but since the Bush administration has been adamantly hostile to arms control this volte-face is to be welcomed.

There is also a commitment to examining existing short and intermediate range ballistic missiles and how to reduce threats from them, as well as from cruise missiles. This is positive, but falls far short of constructive Russian ideas like the globalisation of INF.

In short, this Framework is a shopping list of things that could be done, rather than a set of commitments to actually act. But it's not a bad shopping list. The text that deals with arms control reads:

Promoting Security

We acknowledge that today's security environment is fundamentally different than during the Cold War. We must move beyond past strategic principles, which focused on the prospect of mutual annihilation, and focus on the very real dangers that confront both our nations. These include especially the threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. Reflecting the changed nature of our strategic relationship, we will take steps together to counter these new and emerging challenges.


We have reiterated our intention to carry out strategic offensive reductions to the lowest possible level consistent with our national security requirements and alliance commitments.

Substantial reductions of strategic offensive forces have been carried out under the START Treaty, which served as a key instrument in this context. The Moscow Treaty was an additional important step and remains in effect. We will continue development of a legally binding post-START arrangement.

We are fully committed to the goals of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and consider the arrangement we are pursuing to be a further step in implementing our commitments under Article VI of the Treaty.

Missile Defense:

We discussed the issue of missile defense. Both sides expressed their interest in creating a system for responding to potential missile threats in which Russia and the United States and Europe will participate as equal partners.

The Russian side has made clear that it does not agree with the decision to establish sites in Poland and the Czech Republic and reiterated its proposed alternative. Yet, it appreciates the measures that the U.S. has proposed and declared that if agreed and implemented such measures will be important and useful in assuaging Russian concerns.

We agreed to intensify our dialogue after Sochi on issues concerning MD cooperation both bilaterally and multilaterally.

INF Treaty: Taking note of our Joint Statement on the INF Treaty at the sixty-second session of the UN General Assembly, we will engage in a high-level dialogue to analyze current and future intermediate-range and shorter-range ballistic and cruise missile threats and inventory options for dealing with them.

CFE and Other Items: [] We will work together to address serious differences in areas where our policies do not coincide, including NATO expansion; development of a package solution that helps restore the viability of the CFE regime and prompt ratification of the Adapted CFE Treaty by all the States Parties; and certain military activities in space.

1 comment:

Anthony said...

In my opinion, this is positive, but falls far short of constructive Russian ideas like the globalization of INF. I hope you promote security with an appropriate way and accordance with procedure and without harming either party.