The USA's decision to pull out of the ABM Treaty of 1972 raised a lot of negative emotions both in the West and in Russia. It seems that a political crisis is going to stir up in the United States now; the latest information from Washington is good proof of that. The chairman of the US senate committee for armed forces, Carl Levin, is going to introduce a bill about the total cessation of funding the tests of the elements of the national ABM system that violate the Russian-American ABM Treaty. Levin will submit this bill in the US Congress at the beginning of the coming year.
The senator made this statement himself, having said that the given prohibition should work until there is an adequate vote held on the issue in Congress. Levin thinks that if the USA pulls out from the treaty single-handedly, then this will result in a chain reaction of the creation of new defense technologies as well as counter-measures against the missiles. This new “arms race will not make us more protected,” the chairman of the senate committee said.
The reaction from Russian politicians was less emotional but more ponderable.
“Russia ought to announce its withdrawel from the START-1 Treaty immediately after the USA denounces the AMB Treaty,” - the deputy chairman of the committee of the Russian parliament for the international affairs, Konstantin Kosachev, said. The deputy also gave his opinion that Moscow's reaction must follow without any delay: “We have to say to the Americans that after six month are over, Russia will leave the START-1 Treaty.” Kosachev also stated that it would be the first such event in history.
The president of the “Politika” fund, Vyacheslav Nikonov, claimed that “Russia’s reaction will be automatic. This will be the reaction of regret. It is a bad decision, since it gives an incentive to the arms race in Asia. There can be a line of similar decisions made in the world, beginning from China and finishing with Iraq.”
“The reaction of Russia will be adequate. It is written in the law about the ratification of START-2. The START-2 treaty preserves its legal effect only if the ABM Treaty of 1972 is in effect. America’s refusal will lead to the changes in the structure of the Russian strategic nuclear forces,” – Nikonov thinks.
The military men are even more reserved in their estimation of events happening. “America’s single-handed withdrawel from the ABM Treaty will untie the hands of several states and will contribute to another arms race,” – the chief of the Russian general headquarters, Anatoly Kvashnin, said.
A lot of European politicians have expressed their negative, or at least, concerned opinion of the American initiative, but America is being stubborn. There is only one conclusion to make: America’s decision gives up all previous agreements. Such a decision will remove the control over the arms and pose a big threat for the USA and for Russia and for global stability on the whole. These are rather strange games being played with the nuclear weapons. Haven't there been enough of these games?
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov