Trump knocks «avant-garde» from the hands of Putin The US is trying to take control of the latest Russian missile weapons
The United States came to the conclusion that the shock of the Russian missile complex «Avangard» with a hypersonic maneuvering unit and Intercontinental ballistic missile «Sarmat» are subject of the Contract on the reduction of strategic offensive arms (SNV-3). This was stated by the Committee on foreign relations of the Senate under Secretary for arms control and international security Andrea Thompson.
Thompson informed the Senate that these weapons systems can be deployed until February 2021 — before the expiration of start-3. They will therefore «be considered as existing types and will be subject to the contract at the appropriate time in their development cycle».
«Moreover, we believe that the other three systems meet the American criteria for a «new type of strategic offensive weapons» in the framework of start-3″, -said the diplomat.
What specific systems are in question, the Deputy Secretary did not say. Apparently, Washington is referring to the complex «Dagger», equipped with hypersonic missiles, ocean multi-purpose system «Poseidon», as well as a cruise missile with a nuclear engine «Petrel».
For its part, Moscow is confident that the new Russian strategic weapons are not subject to start-3. Earlier, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov clearly outlined the Russian position: «This is not the subject of the Treaty.» The Ambassador added that the Russian side does not refuse to discuss with Washington its new strike systems within the framework of the bilateral dialogue on strategic stability. However, according to him, the US does not want to take such a step. Recall: the ten-year start-3 Treaty expires in 2021. By signing the document, the US and Russia pledged to reduce their strategic offensive weapons within seven years. According to the Treaty, 700 Intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and heavy bombers may remain in service of the participating countries. The allowable total number of launchers is limited to 800 units. And deployed nuclear warheads — 1550 units.
Start-3 can be extended for five years, but for this, the parties must begin negotiations now — this was previously stated by Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, the American side has not yet taken any concrete steps to start the discussion.
The problem is that some American politicians consider the extension of start-3 as an instrument of pressure on Moscow. The team of Donald Trump is a popular opinion that the United States should withdraw from all contracts that bind Americans hands. These sentiments are shared by a significant part of legislators.
Thus, in 2018, Congressman Liz Cheney and Senator Tom cotton introduced a bill in the lower house prohibiting the allocation of funding for the extension of start-3 until Russia agrees to reduce its tactical nuclear weapons and extend the Treaty to the latest weapons.
What does the US want, will we agree with the arguments of the Americans?
— Trump and his administration want to demonstrate visible foreign policy successes — said the expert of the Russian Institute for strategic studies (RISI) Sergey Ermakov. — The next presidential race is not far off, and Trump needs to show that his policy of dialogue from a position of strength is bearing fruit. So, everything was done correctly — unlike Democrats and Barack Obama personally. This means that Trump needs a new strategic arms reduction Treaty.
I note: the fundamental difference between Trump’s foreign policy and Obama’s is a greater intensity of militant rhetoric and information pressure. At the same time, Trump does not cross borders. In Russian-American relations, in my opinion, the same principle works.
I think after the demonstrative pressure on Moscow from the United States will be followed by attempts to negotiate. As a result, it will be announced that America has won a great diplomatic victory.
«SP»: — how can you be sure?
— From the point of view of the arms control regime, the US is not interested in a situation of opacity. This is especially true of relations with Russia.
Yes, Americans build a control regime based on the benefits for their national interests. Yes, they will never agree where they have the advantage — where they believe that there is no subject for negotiations. But with start-3 the situation is different. Russia has demonstrated its ability to present a challenge to the US. Including in the field of advanced weapons. And it was an unpleasant surprise for Washington.
It is no coincidence that in April, the Pentagon called for the renewal of the start-3. This statement was made by the head of the Strategic command of the US armed forces, General John Hayten. In his view, the mutual obligations between the nuclear powers should be maintained. And for this, representatives of the state Department should hold talks with Russian diplomats, Hayten said.
Negotiations are supposed to be tough. Do states want to reach agreements that will remove the uncertainty about what Russia has in terms of weapons? And what can be achieved in ten years? As a maximum, the Americans want to include China in the control regime.
«SP»: — is it achievable?
It’s complicated. In my opinion, one of the reasons why the US suspended the implementation of the INF TREATY on February 2 is an attempt to put pressure on Moscow. So that we can promote the inclusion of China in the Treaty framework. For Beijing to change its point of view, and began to consider arms control as part of its policy.
This is a multi-way combination that trump and his administration are trying to implement now. Russia is partly interested in it. I would like to add that arms control is one of the few areas in which Russia and the United States maintain, if not partnership, then full cooperation. Why did the United States attract to the start-3 our «Vanguards» and «Sarmatians»?
— The Americans are trying to «put in one basket» all nuclear weapons, including tactical nuclear weapons and advanced weapons, including hypersonic. At the same time, their maximum task is to withdraw their missile DEFENSE systems from these agreements. These goals are the exact opposite of what Russia wants.
We have repeatedly stated that we are considering both defensive and offensive strategic systems in a single complex. Our position on this issue has not changed fundamentally for many years. The preamble of the 1972 ABM Treaty States that strategic offensive and defensive weapons are linked.
I think, nevertheless, some progress in this point is possible. And trump, it is possible, will get a trump card — will be able to loudly announce that he has achieved unprecedented foreign policy success. He was able to push Russia, and change start in favor of American interests.
— The start-3 Treaty limits the number of deployed carriers and nuclear ammunition, — reminds academician of the Academy of geopolitical problems, former head of the Main Department of international military cooperation of the Ministry of defense Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov. — But we in this contract made the important reservation, having designated our conditions: if you, misters, don’t close system ABOUT, we reserve the right to withdraw from the agreement. Otherwise, it turns out unequal protection — the number of carriers and warheads will be the same. But one side will be covered by the missile DEFENSE system, and the other — no.
There is another important point. The agreement says that in case of misunderstanding the parties sit down at the negotiating table and hold consultations.
In fact, the statements of the American side about a possible exit from start-3, I believe, should not even alarm us.
«SP»: — That is if the Americans insist that the «Sarmatians» and «avant-garde» fall under the agreement, and we will not hold on to it at any cost?
— New developments do not fall under start-3. The contract refers to ballistic-type carriers. And for «Sarmat» — please, we do not exceed the limits indicated in the agreement on warheads and carriers.
Moreover, it should be understood: by signing start-3, we went towards the Americans. For the sake of political, I think, illusions, we did not raise the issue of their missile defense rigidly. Moreover, we have given under this Treaty the United States the right to demand from us data on each of our test launches of new missiles.
Americans do not give us similar information, especially on ballistic missiles: they do not have new missiles. And have us new missiles — a whole a series of. And we pass the parameters of their tests to the US, in fact, free of charge.
So, if the Americans raise the issue of withdrawal from start-3 — do not be afraid of it. Or even to us at a certain stage, it is possible to put so a question. State: «Since the US is building up the missile DEFENSE system, increasing and deploying high-precision cruise missiles around the Russian borders — we can go to the exit from start-3. And, without any damage to themselves.»
But I think the Kremlin believes that the Americans should do it.