Source Pravda.Ru

Moscow – Washington: No consensus reached

During talks, the delegations of the US and Russian Defense Ministries failed to achieve an understanding of key problems. The two-day discussions concluded by a statement that is logical for such a situation: the parties will work on the development of the agreements that President George W.Bush and President Vladimir Putin will sign during the Russian-American summit scheduled for the summer. The next visit of the Russian delegation to Washington will take place at end of January.

The reduction of the strategic offensive armaments and strategic missiles (after the USA’s withdrawal from the ABM Treaty of 1972) was the key topic on the agenda during the latest meeting of the delegations.

Washington still insists that thousands of nuclear warheads are to be stored after the armament reduction and not destroyed. However, it is quite evident that the nuclear warheads stored this way can be put into a state of war-time alert very quickly. In this case, the strategic armament reduction, which the USA speaks so much about, is senseless. First Deputy Commander in chief of Russia’s General Staff Yury Baluyevsky says that Russia insists that “all nuclear weapons are to be destroyed despite the fact that it may take a lot of time."

In addition, a system for reduction control is to be developed. The Russian Defense Ministry thinks that “an obligatory juridical agreement is to be signed for the systematization in nuclear armament reduction.” However, America’s position on the problem is rather interesting. A member of the Congress’s committee for armaments Curt Weldon says that “Washington wants no written agreements with Moscow on the ABM and START problems.” They say that there is no necessity to put down every word on paper achieved during the talks. Now, the US lawmakers think that the USA considers Moscow to be a friend. Mr.Weldon says that both countries are to trust each other as close friends. However, we should stick to the following rule: trust but verify, especially with our American "friends."

Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/01/17/35656.html