US-RussiaFuture: “Nuclear Arms Control and U.S.-Russia Relations”

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

Subject: Nuclear Arms Control and U.S.-Russia Relations Date: Thu, 31 May 2018 From: US-RussiaFuture <info@us-russiafuture.org> U.S.-RUSSIA WORKING GROUP RELEASES STUDY ON NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL Bilateral report highlights opportunities for United States and Russia to reinvigorate nuclear arms control cooperation CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 31, 2018 – The Working Group on the Future of U.S.-Russia Relations, a bilateral collective of rising experts […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Keeping the ‘New Cold War’ Cold: Nuclear Deterrence With U.S. and Russian Nuclear Force Modernization [Excerpt]” – PONARS Eurasia/Keith Darden

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

(PONARS Eurasia – Keith Darden – May 2018) Keith Darden is Associate Professor in the School of International Service at American University. (PONARS Policy Memo) After two decades of dramatic reduction and deliberate neglect, the nuclear arsenals that were at the center of security relations between the Cold War superpowers are reaching the ends of their operational lives. Rather than […]

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Behind the wire: pride and paranoia in one of Russia’s closed towns; Thousands of Russian citizens live in “closed towns.” I visited one of them, Lesnoye, to find out how people live today.

Montage of Radioactivity Symbol and Russian Map with Russian Flag, adapted from images at .gov sites

(opendemocracy.net – Ivan Chesnokov – May 16, 2018) Ivan Chesnokov is a Russian freelance journalist specialising in social issues and conflicts. His work has appeared in Takie Dela, the Moscow Times, RBTH, and other publications, and he is engaged in several multimedia journalism projects. [opendemocracy.net/od-russia/ivan-chesnokov/behind-the-wire] A shabbily dressed older man in a cap with ear flaps, looking like a character […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Differing approaches to Korea crisis may jeopardize N. Korea-U.S. summit – Kosachyov” – Interfax

North Korea Map and Flag, adapted from .gov image

MOSCOW. May 16 (Interfax) – The differing approaches of Washington and Pyongyang to the settlement process on the Korean Peninsula and the bilateral summit may jeopardize the very fact of the summit and its outcome, Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachyov said on Facebook. “The problems that emerged shortly before the pivotal meeting between the U.S. and North […]

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NEWSLINK: “From Cold War to Hot Peace” – Medium/Michael McFaul

File Photo of Michael McFaul Standing and Barack Hussein Obama Sitting at Desk, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“… What happened? How did we go from toasting the Reset in Prague in 2010 to lamenting its end in Moscow just two years later? Nothing fundamental had changed in our policy toward Russia. Nor had Russia done anything abroad that might trigger new animosity — that would come later. The one obvious change between these two meetings was Russia’s leadership. Medvedev […]

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NEWSLINK: “Vladimir Putin’s Re-Election Strategy: Nukes and Assassins” – Daily Beast/Amy Knight

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“Emboldened by Trump’s weak response, Putin and his cronies are saying: ‘You know we did it, and you know and we know you’re not going to do anything about it.’”

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RUSSIALINK: “Igor Ivanov: Russia Is Offering an Olive Branch, Not Nuclear War; The path to international security is complex, but Russia has proven it is prepared to lead the way” – Moscow Times/Igor Ivanov

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… Putin’s recent address to the Federal Assembly made quite a splash in the international community. Unsurprisingly, particular attention was paid to the sections of the address in which the president spoke in detail about boosting Russia’s defense capabilities, creating new weapons systems ….”

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NEWSLINK: “He’s trying to say: Take us seriously. We’re not joking anymore’ Russian political and security experts interpret Putin’s state-of-the-nation speech” – Meduza

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… Putin addressed the Federal Assembly, devoting a significant part of his speech to a presentation of Russia’s latest weapons, including nuclear missiles, and calling on NATO to cease its eastward expansion. … Meduza asked several political and security experts to explain why Putin demonstrated all these weapons and what the speech means for his next presidential term. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S. policy doc hints at ‘limited’ nuclear arms use, alarming Russians” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

“Russians read a new Pentagon policy document as allowing the use of nuclear weapons outside the bounds of ‘mutually assured destruction’ … The new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) released by the Pentagon … has been received [in Moscow] with shock, and even a touch of fear, because for the first time in almost three decades it appears to talk about […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia Say They Have Met Nuclear-Reduction Targets Under Treaty; Nations meet Monday deadline, but face task of renewing pact in three years amid dispute over another weapons agreement” – Wall Street Journal/Felicia Schwartz, Michael R. Gordon, James Marson

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“The U.S. and Russia said they have fulfilled obligations under a 2010 treaty to reduce … strategic nuclear warheads … by a Monday deadline. … [they] still face the task of renewing the pact when it expires in three years amid a dispute over another weapons agreement. … the U.S. alleges Moscow is violating a separate 1987 accord banning American […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Outlines Plan on Nuclear-Weapons Use; Policy says arsenal might be option in response to major nonnuclear attack” – Wall Street Journal/Michael R. Gordon

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

“… a new … [U.S.] Nuclear Posture Review [declares that t]he U.S. … would consider using nuclear weapons only in ‘extreme circumstances’ to defend itself and its allies, including against ‘significant non-nuclear strategic attacks. … includ[ing] but … not limited to, attacks on the U.S., allied, or partner civilian population or infrastructure … nuclear forces, their command and control, or […]

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NEWSLINK: “Pentagon Says Russia Is Building Nuclear Torpedo Described as “Doomsday” Weapon” – Slate/Daniel Politi

Russian Nuclear Submarine

“[A] Pentagon document * * * publicly acknowledge[s] for the first time that Russia is ‘developing … a new intercontinental, nuclear-armed, nuclear-powered, undersea autonomous torpedo.’ Known as a ‘Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System’ many analysts have described it as a ‘doomsday’ weapon … theoretically … [with] the capacity to destroy an entire coastal city. … ‘essentially a drone-type device fired underwater […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia likely to meet nuclear treaty obligations by Feb. 5: State Department” – Reuters

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“The United States fulfilled its obligations under the New Start nuclear arms treaty with Russia in August last year and expects Moscow also will be within the limits set by the accord by the Feb. 5 deadline, the State Department said …. Under the terms of the agreement, which went into force on Feb. 5, 2011, each side had seven […]

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NEWSWATCH: “We’re as close to Doomsday today as we were during the Cold War” – Washington Post/Lawrence Krauss, Robert Rosner

Nuclear Mushroom Cloud

“… To call the world nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger – and its immediacy. North Korea’s nuclear weapons program appeared to make remarkable progress … increasing risks for itself, other countries in the region and the United States. * * * Global nuclear risks were compounded by U.S.-Russia relations that now feature more conflict than cooperation. The […]

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Russian senator wants more nuclear weapons if US violates START-3

Russian Nuclear Submarine

(Interfax – January 16, 2018) Russia will have justification for a symmetrical response if the US boosts its nuclear forces in violation of the START-3 treaty, the chairman of the Defence Committee of the Federation Council (parliament’s upper house), Viktor Bondarev, has said. “If, in the process of bolstering its nuclear arsenal, the US violates START-3 (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty […]

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Interfax: New U.S. nuclear doctrine is next step to build infrastructure enabling global strike on Russia – MP Slutsky

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 15 (Interfax) – The United States’ new nuclear doctrine is aimed at protecting the infrastructure which is being created in Europe to enable a strike on Russia, the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Leonid Slutsky said on Facebook. “It’s hardly a revelation that the U.S. is building comprehensive infrastructure to support Prompt Global Strike. Under the pretext […]

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Moscow does not rule out U.S.’s plans to secede from INF Treaty, pledges instant mirrored response

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

MOSCOW. Dec 19 (Interfax) – Moscow believes that the United States is looking for a pretext to quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and is pledging an instant mirrored response, the Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department, Mikhail Ulyanov, told Interfax in an interview on Tuesday. “The stubborn reluctance [of Washington] to support its […]

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NEWSLINK: “ORDER FROM CHAOS; U.S.-Russia arms control was possible once – is it possible still?” – Brookings/ Strobe Talbott

“Thirty years ago last week, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, resulting in the elimination of some 2,700 U.S. and Soviet ground-launched intermediate-range missiles. …”

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NEWSLINK: “After the INF Treaty: An Objective Look at US and Russian Compliance, Plus a New Arms Control Regime” – Russia Matters/Kevin Ryan

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

“… The 1987 INF Treaty attempted to eliminate a threat by prohibiting the sides from developing and deploying certain kinds of offensive missile systems, much like the ABM Treaty attempted to prevent development and deployment of missile-defense systems. These agreements proved brittle under the pressure of new technologies and threats. Many in the U.S. and Russia have come to believe […]

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Interfax: Russian Strategic Missile Forces comprise approx. 400 ICBMs – commander

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

MOSCOW. Nov 13 (Interfax) – The Russian Strategic Missile Forces comprise about 400 intercontinental ballistic missiles with various types of warheads, the Russian Strategic Missile Forces Commander, Col. Gen. Sergei Karakayev, told the Defense Ministry’s newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda in an interview. “As of today, the Russian Strategic Missile Forces operate about 400 intercontinental ballistic missiles with warheads of various types […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Nuclear Dangers from North Korea: Managing the Risks to the U.S. and Russia” – RussiaMatters/ Joshua H. Pollack

North Korea Map and Flag, adapted from .gov image

“Among the most disturbing aspects of the North Korean nuclear problem today is the lack of a common perspective between Washington and Moscow. More than any other government, Russian authorities have been reluctant to acknowledge the emergence of a genuine nuclear and missile threat from North Korea to the United States. This perceptual gap is more than a mere irritant. […]

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Interfax: Russia-U.S. substantive dialogue on START, INF Treaty is needed – Ryabkov

Sergei Ryabkov file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 20 (Interfax) – Russia and the United States need to start substantive dialogue regarding the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), but Moscow is unaware of the U.S. administration’s stance on offensive arms reduction, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. “We have no idea as to what the administration of […]

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Interfax: U.S. global missile defense may create prerequisites for massive preventive strike on adversary – Kosachyov

Federation Council file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 13 (Interfax) – The deployment by Washington of its global missile-defense shield poses a threat to strategic stability in the world and may create prerequisites for a powerful preventive strike, Konstantin Kosachyov, head of the Russian Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote in a statement on his Facebook page. “Our Defense Ministry’s information about the consequences of the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “White House Must Extend New START Arms Control Treaty with Russia; Statement by Lisbeth Gronlund, Global Security Program” – Union of Concerned Scientists

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… New START – gives the United States and Russia until February 2018 to reduce their deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550. It is set to expire in early 2021, but can be extended for another five years …. Trump suggested he would scrap it because he believed it favored Moscow. But … administration officials said last week that the White House […]

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Interfax: Moscow dismisses Washington’s allegations of violating INF Treaty

Sergei Ryabkov file photo

MOSCOW. Sept 25 (Interfax) – Moscow views as groundless the United States’ allegations that Russia is breaching the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday. “To us, the attempts to falsely accuse Russia of breaching a number of accords, including the INF Treaty, are unacceptable,” Ryabkov told reporters in Moscow. “In all the […]

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Moscow Ponders Trump’s Fire and Fury

North Korea Map and Flag, adapted from .gov image

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – MAXIM TRUDOLYUBOV – August 11, 2017) Maxim Trudolyubov, Senior Fellow with the Kennan Institute and editor-at-large with Vedomosti, has been following Russian economy and politics since the late 1990s. He has served as an opinion page editor for Vedomosti and editor and correspondent for the newspaper Kapital. As North Korea’s nuclear missile program advances, U.S. […]

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Russian diplomat warns of risk to arms control with US

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

(Interfax – August 2, 2017) Moscow, 2 August: Moscow’s possible countermeasures to the USA’s new anti-Russian sanctions may hypothetically affect agreements in the areas of disarmament and nonproliferation but any actions in this area have to meet Russia’s national interests, a Russian Foreign Ministry official has said. “Anything is possible in life, and I would like to draw your attention, […]

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With Fraying U.S.-Russian Ties Comes Fraying Arms Control

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(WASHINGTON – July 11, 2017 – Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – also appeared at rferl.org/a/us-russia-fraying-ties-erode-arms-control/28611015.html) The U.S. Congress is moving decisively to start dismantling some of the bedrock agreements of U.S.-Russian arms control, reflecting the dangerous state of relations between Washington and Moscow and raising the specter of a new arms race. […]

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NEWSLINK: “How to ‘Think Like the Russians’: A Partisan Perception Chart for Improving U.S.-Russian Relations” – Russia Matters/ Bruce Allyn

Nuclear Mushroom Cloud

U.S.-Russia relations have dropped to a low point reminiscent of the scariest days of the Cold War, and the risk of nuclear miscalculation is the highest it’s been in nearly 55 years. With passions flaring and recriminations flying, how can Washington and Moscow find a calm common language and ratchet down tensions? …

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NEWSWATCH: “The Wars of the Future: Russian Defense Ministry’s New Modernization Plan; Upcoming re-armament program will offer clues on how Russia sees the future of war” – Moscow Times/ Michael Kofman

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… Delayed for two years owing to economic and budgetary volatility, the next phase of the State Armament Program (GPV), covering 2018-2025, is due to be finalized and signed by September. … [to] determine not just what Russian armed forces get next year, but the weapons and systems they will fight with into the 2030s. * * * … the […]

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “Antimissile ‘umbrella’ to be created over Russia’s whole territory”

Dmity Rogozin file photo

“Russia’s defense industry has proposed to the Defense Ministry a rational missile defense option that will allow for opening an anti-missile umbrella over the country’s whole territory, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Wednesday. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “Have we forgotten the Cold War? Nuclear threat more real than ever” – The Hill/ William Perry

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… relations between the United States and #Russia are as hostile as they were during the #ColdWar. Russia has dropped its long-term policy of ‘No First Use’ of #nuclear weapons and is rebuilding its nuclear arsenal. It is threatening its neighbors with these deadly weapons and indirectly threatening the U.S. Responding to this challenge, the U.S. has begun rebuilding its […]

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“Crises in the Second Nuclear Age” – Stephen J. Cimbala, Paul Bracken

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

Subject: Crises in the Second Nuclear Age Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2017 From: STEPHEN CIMBALA <sjc2@psu.edu> Crises in the Second Nuclear Age By Stephen J. Cimbala and Paul Bracken Stephen J. Cimbala is Professor of Political Science at Penn State Brandywine. Paul Bracken is Professor of Management and Professor of Political Science at Yale University. Nuclear weapons coincided with the […]

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NEWSLINK: “Pulling the U.S.-Russia Relationship Back from the Nuclear Brink; The downward spiral in U.S.-Russia relations makes the objective of reducing nuclear risk all the more urgent.” – The National Interest/ Kingston Reif and Maggie Tennis

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“This week U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the first high-level sit down between the Trump administration and Russia since President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Though the discussion is likely to be dominated by the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons last week and its aftermath, the two diplomats […]

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NEWSLINK: “The UN’s Nuclear Weapon Talks May Be The Most Important Thing Nobody’s Paying Attention To. On Monday, a quixotic and necessary conference kicked off at the United Nations” – Huffington Post/Alexander Zaitchik

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“Over protests from the U.S. and other nuclear powers, more than 120 countries began work on a treaty at the United Nations this week with the aim of banishing nuclear weapons from the face and the oceans of the earth. In a sign of mounting nuclear anxiety around the globe, the conference timeline is extremely condensed by U.N. standards. As […]

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It’s Time to Make Nuclear Arms Control Great Again; Donald Trump has been sending alarming signals to Moscow on the nuclear issue

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Vladimir Frolov – March 2, 2017) An odd structural problem stands in the way of the Trump administration’s proposed “reset” with Russia: nuclear arms control. Few could have predicted this stumbling block. Every recent rapprochement between Moscow and Washington has begun with negotiated reductions in nuclear weapons, nuclear testing and missile defense. Managing the nuclear […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Kremlin: Talks to Decide Future of Nuclear Pact With US” – AP

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“The possibility of extending a pivotal Russia-U.S. arms control pact is to be discussed in prospective talks …. Peskov[] said the prospects of extending the New START Treaty … set to expire in 2021 will ‘depend on the position of our American partners’ and require negotiations. … the 2010 pact … limited Russian and U.S. nuclear arsenals to no more […]

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New U.S. administration not going to review plans to upgrade nuclear triad – Ryabkov

Sergei Ryabkov file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 6 (Interfax) – Moscow is not expecting the new United States administration to review its plans to modernize the nuclear triad, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. “The U.S. is standing at the threshold of the beginning of significant efforts of modernizing its nuclear triad. These plans were announced closer towards the end of Obama’s second term. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Toward a New Equilibrium in U.S.-Russian Relations; The new administration must understand how Russia relates to American goals” – Thomas E. Graham/The National Interest

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

… Trump will face no more urgent foreign-policy task than developing a Russia policy. … The Russia We Face: The starting point for a new strategy is a clear understanding of how Russia relates to American goals. Its nuclear arsenal, vast natural resources and proximity to regions of undisputed strategic value …. Relations will focus on security matters …. The […]

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What Vladimir Putin Could Explain to Donald Trump

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(Jack Matlock, U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991 – jackmatlock.com – January 31, 2017) The telephone conversation last Saturday between the American and Russian presidents seems to have been amicable and constructive, at least in a general sense. They are reported to have discussed key world issues as potential partners, not as adversaries or enemies. That […]

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What Can Putin Really Offer Trump for a Deal?

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 23, 2017) The #Russian and #American #media are full of stories in which various experts discuss what a deal between Vladimir #Putin and Donald #Trump might look like, with almost all the attention going to the concessions Trump should make to Putin and much less to the issue of what Putin […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian officials: We’re not counting on Trump to lift sanctions. #Russia says plans for 2017 based on sanctions” – CNN Money

Igor Shuvalov file photo

“Russia is not banking on Donald Trump scrapping economic sanctions any time soon. First deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov said the Russian government’s plans for 2017 are based on the expectations that sanctions are here to stay. ‘Perhaps the market is expecting an improvement in our relationship … [but] in our work, we operate on the basis of continued sanctions,’ […]

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Remarks by the President in Final Press Conference. (excerpt re: Russia)

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – January 18, 2017) Q Mr. President, thank you. The President-elect has said that he would consider lifting sanctions on Russia if they substantially reduced their nuclear stockpile. Given your own efforts at arms control, do you think that’s an effective strategy? Knowing this office and Mr. Trump, how would you […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Will Russia cut its nuclear arsenal in exchange for lifting sanctions?”

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

The U.S. may reconsider sanctions against Russia if the latter agrees to reduce its nuclear arsenals, said U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in an interview with the British newspaper, The Times. According to military experts, if the reduction is reciprocal then such an agreement will be to Russia’s advantage. Russia, however, will first want a change in NATO policy. (Russia Beyond […]

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Moscow Times: Russia Says It Plans to Pivot From Nuclear Deterrence, Avoiding Trump’s Arms Race

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 12, 2017) When it comes to strategic deterrence, Russia might replace its nuclear weapons with precision bombs, in order to help reduce international tensions and strengthen world peace, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a public lecture on Thursday, the news agency RIA Novosti reported. According to Shoigu, Moscow plans to rely on […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Nuclear War Is No Longer ‘Unthinkable’ for Russia; Putin is warning the United States to back off” – The National Interest/Nikolas K. Gvosdev

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“The newly-released ‘Foreign Policy Concept’ of the #Russian Federation contains some interesting changes and updates. … this document reflects the #Kremlin’s strategic mindset and how it views international relations …. The first is a slight but significant shift in assessing the possibility of the use of #nuclear weapons from ‘unthinkable’ to ‘unlikely.’ While the concept does not anticipate a high […]

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