George Bush’s visit to Russia will certainly be the main event of next week. It is obvious that neither the summit itselfnor the decisions that will be made during the summit will bring any surprises. The meeting will be the peak of longstanding negotiations and talks. Journalists have been sucking sensations out of dull statements from the people who took the direct part in the talks. Western politicians called upon everyone not to expect anything special from the meeting between Putin and Bush. There were a lot of elevating expressions on Russia’s part: rapprochement with the West, the new era, and the like. However, after George Bush stated in one of his interviews that the text of the arms reduction treaty had been completed and after released a part of its contents, the secret vanished at once. Russia, the intellectual part of it, thought that it had been deceived. Elevating expressions vanished as well: as it turned out, Uncle Sam deceived Russia again. America got what it wanted: the warheads will not be destroyed but stored.
Noone was actually deceiving anybody. They promised to cut the number down to the level of 1700-2000 warheads; this, they will do. Americans do not need anything superfluous, and the same goes for Russia. It is needless to mention the difference here: the American defense budget is almost $400 billion compared with Russian budget of $9 billion.
The contract was promised to be signed, and it will be signed. There will be only three pages to it but a lot of annexes, at least 100 pages in total. However, this is not important, as the most important thing here is the fact that the arms reduction treaty and the declaration for a strategic partnership is actually coming to an end for both Russia and the USA. Washington and Moscow have not yet presented their visions of “the world after the summit.”
What is tomorrow going bring for Russia and America? For the time being, Russian and American experts exercise in stylistic thinking regarding a title of the treaty that would sound good. The Russian Foreign Ministry reported that the official title of the document will be the Treaty on the Reduction of the Strategic Offensive Potentials. The new treaty stipulates the reduction of warheads and carriers as well as the control over the process. The new treaty includes the notion of “potentials," everything that is connected with the reduction of strategic offensive arms.
Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov