JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin: Russia-China military alliance can’t be ruled out” – AP

File Photo of Beijing Temple, adapted from image at lbl.gov

“… Putin said … there is no need for a Russia-China military alliance now, but noted it could be forged in the future. … signal[ing] deepening ties between Moscow and Beijing amid growing tensions … with the United States. … [Putin] also made a strong call for extending … [the New START Treaty]. … The U.S. recently … proposed a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why Russia – and Putin – might be worried about a Biden presidency” – CNBC/ Holly Ellyatt

File Photo of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in front of U.S. Flag and Russian Flag, adapted from image from RIA Novosti

“At the very least, analysts expect that a victory for Biden would increase tensions between Washington and Moscow, and would raise the probability of new sanctions on Russia. The country is already operating under international sanctions on some key sectors and Russian officials close to Putin, for actions including its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, interference in the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH:”Putin proposes yearlong extension of nuclear pact with U.S.”- AP

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

“… Putin … made a strong call to save the last existing nuclear arms control pact between his country and the United States, proposing to extend it at least for one year. … amid conflicting signals from Russian and U.S. diplomats about the fate of the New START treaty … set to expire in February …. [T]he U.S. has proposed […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Dismisses Trump Hope of Nuclear Deal Before U.S. Vote” – Bloomberg/ Ilya Arkhipov, Henry Meyer, Vladimir Kuznetsov

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“Russia dashed hopes of a [nuclear weapons] deal … before next month’s [U.S.] presidential election …. The U.S. proposal for a nuclear freeze … also cover[ing] tactical weapons ‘has long been known to us’ and is rejected by Russia because ‘we need to deal with their new strategic-range’ conventional arms too, including in space and missile defense, said [Russian Deputy […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Spinning good news on arms control” – The Hill/ Steven Pifer

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… A speedy conclusion could be possible on extending New START, which would be in the U.S. interest. Putin has said Moscow would extend without conditions. … [C]hief [U.S.] arms control envoy[] Marshall Billingslea[] has called New START ‘deeply flawed.’ … Billingslea backed away from the demand that China [get involved] … [yet] continued to insist … Russia agree to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “Russia Declassifies Video From 1961 of Largest Hydrogen Bomb Ever Detonated” – Smithsonian Magazine/ Theresa Machemer

File Photo of Tsar Bomba Nuclear Detonation, adapted from image at osd.mil

“The blast was over 3,000 times bigger than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.” “… [D]eclassified Russian footage [features] the 1961 Tsar Bomba hydrogen bomb test …  [of] the largest bomb … detonated on Earth …. a 50-million-ton hydrogen bomb, officially named RDS-220[,] … [set off] late October 1961 … during the height of the Cold War[,] …. 26 feet long […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump Administration Seeks Pre-Election Win on Nuclear Arms Deal with Russia” – Time/ John Walcott

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea met with [Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov] … in Vienna to discuss extending the … New START agreement … [currently limiting] long-range weapons ….  [with the U.S. seeking to make New START extension] a first step toward limiting … entire nuclear arsenals … backed by rare bipartisan consensus on […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov: Chances to extend New START Treaty aren’t great, but they haven’t dried up yet” – Interfax

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

(Interfax – Aug. 18, 2020 – interfax.com/newsroom/exclusive-interviews/69585/) Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has given an interview to Interfax correspondent Ksenia Baygarova, in which he speaks about the results of the second round of strategic stability consultations in Vienna, chances to extend the New START Treaty and comments on calls by the United States not to interfere in the situation […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump Administration Shifts Course on Russian Arms Talks, Easing Insistence China Join Now” – Wall Street Journal/ Michael R. Gordon

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“New strategy aims at a framework agreement with Russia, possible pre-election meeting with Putin.” “… the Trump administration signaled … that it will seek to negotiate a separate framework agreement with Moscow and move to bring Beijing on board later. … [which] could open the door for an election-year arms control understanding with Moscow — and possibly a meeting between […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Warns It Will See Any Incoming Missile as Nuclear” – AP

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“Russia will perceive any ballistic missile launched at its territory as a nuclear attack that warrants a nuclear retaliation, the military warned …. in … official military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) … [a warning] directed at the United States, which has worked to develop long-range non-nuclear weapons. [I]n June [Russia published its] … nuclear deterrent policy … envisag[ing] … […]

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RUSSIALINK: “NPT dismantlement to increase number of nuclear threshold states – Russian General Staff” – Interfax

File Photo of U.S.-Russian Senior Military Meeting, adapted from image at defense.gov with photo credit to Dominique A. Pineiro

MOSCOW. Aug 7 (Interfax) – The U.S. policy aimed at withdrawing from the agreements limiting nuclear weapons may have negative implications for the entire world, representatives of the Russian General Staff said in an article published by the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper on Friday. “The future of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is a big […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “White House fills top Russia job previously occupied by two impeachment witnesses” – CNN/ Zachary Cohen, Vivian Salama, Kylie Atwood

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“The White House [reportedly] has tapped Ryan Tully to be the top official on Europe and Russia at the National Security Council … the fifth person to occupy that job in … three and a half years …. Tully currently serves … as [NSC] senior adviser for arms control and deputy senior director for … [its] directorate on [WMD] …. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump Administration Weighs Extending New START Nuclear Treaty” – Wall Street Journal/ Michael R. Gordon

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“President’s decision about pact with Russia will be influenced by whether China joins arms-control negotiations and progress toward tougher agreement.” “… A day after a round of Russia-U.S. arms control talks in Vienna, [a U.S.] official said … Trump could agree to extend the [New START Treaty], … due to expire in February, if the parties make progress toward a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s New Nuclear Doctrine: Don’t Mess With Us – But Let’s Talk” – World Politics Review/ Richard Weitz

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

  “… Why did Russia decide to publish its deterrence policy now? In part, it could be to dispel alleged Western misperceptions about when Russia might use nuclear weapons, specifically the Pentagon’s assessment that Moscow would threaten to use nuclear weapons – or actually do so – to intimidate an adversary into yielding in a major crisis. Previously referred to […]

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Talks To Salvage Last Major Nuclear Treaty Between U.S., Russia Begin In Vienna

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

The United States and Russia have opened two days of talks on June 22 on their last major nuclear agreement, the New START treaty, which caps the number of deployed long-range nuclear warheads each can have […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Upcoming nuclear arms talks with Russia a chance to save this key treaty” – The Hill/ Bonnie Kristian

Russia ICBM on Mobile Launcher

“… American and Russian diplomats will converge in Vienna … June 22 for arms control negotiations [] possibly … even laying the groundwork to extend the New START deal set to expire in February. … Even if a trilateral deal involving China were possible, experts generally agree it is not achievable before the February deadline. The Trump administration doesn’t ‘have […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Negotiator Doubts China Will Join 3-Way Arms Accord Sought by Trump” – Wall Street Journal/ Michael R. Gordon

File Photo of Beijing Temple, adapted from image at lbl.gov

“Kremlin won’t press Beijing to join talks despite U.S. plea, says diplomat” “Moscow won’t pressure China to join … coming arms-control talks with U.S. and Russian negotiators, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said …. [T]he New START treaty … cutting] long-range U.S. and Russian nuclear arms[] [is] due to expire in February …. Trump … seek[s] a broader agreement […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s new nuclear policy could be a path to arms control treaties” – Defense News/ Sarah Bidgood

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

… the U.S. and Russia have traditionally been able to work together to mitigate mutual threats even when their bilateral relationship is in crisis […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia to Start Nuclear Arms Control Talks This Month” – AP

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

“The U.S. and Russia have agreed to start arms control talks this month as the only remaining treaty between the two largest nuclear powers is poised to expire in less than a year … Russia has offered to extend the New [START] Treaty … expir[ing] in February, but Trump wants to see a three-way nuclear arms treaty that includes China. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Puts Defensive Face on Its Nuclear Doctrine Ahead of Arms-Control Negotiations” – Defense One/ Patrick Tucker

Russian Nuclear Submarine

… A country with such a strategy would consider using nuclear weapons – likely tactical ones – at the beginning of a conflict, aiming to press its adversary into quick negotiations. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s New Nuclear Deterrent Policy Allows Nuclear Strikes Against Non-Nuclear Threats” – AP

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

“… Putin … endorsed Russia’s nuclear deterrent policy which allows him to use atomic weapons in response to a conventional strike targeting … critical government and military infrastructure. … including a non-nuclear attack as a possible trigger for Russian nuclear retaliation … The new expanded wording reflects Russian concerns about the development of prospective weapons that could give Washington the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow would benefit from Beijing’s involvement in strategic arms reduction talks – expert” – Interfax

Asia Map

China’s involvement in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty will put Russia in a more advantageous position, and Moscow could share its experience of such talks with Beijing … Sergei Rogov said […]

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Arms Control in the COVID-19 Era: No Next Step without New START

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

… another urgent existential threat is quietly growing in the background: the steady termination of nuclear arms control treaties between the United States and the Russian Federation and the absence of new arms control negotiations. ..

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Prevent the outbreak of another global security threat. Extend New START.” – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists/ Daryl G. Kimball

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

“… New START … signed 10 years ago, verifiably caps each nation’s strategic nuclear arsenals at no more than 1,550 deployed warheads and 700 missile and bomber delivery platforms. The treaty has worked well for both sides. The latest data exchange mandated by the treaty shows Russia with 1,326 deployed warheads on 485 deployed delivery systems, while the United States […]

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U.S. Official: New START Treaty Should Cover Russian Weapon Systems Under Development

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Article text ©2020 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – March 10, 2020 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/us-official-new-start-treaty-should-cover-russian-weapons-systems-under-development/30479166.html) An extension of the last remaining nuclear arms treaty between the United States and Russia should include new weapons systems that Moscow is developing, a U.S. State Department official said in a briefing on March 9. The New […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Arms control agreement with Russia should cover more than nuclear weapons” – The Hill/ Kevin Ryan

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… the Russia investigation and impeachment behind him, … Trump finally may feel empowered to engage with … Putin …. Russia and the U.S. have said they want to extend the [New START Treaty] …with changes to address new strategic weapons and capabilities …. Cold War model treaties … cannot protect America from strategic attack anymore. … New capabilities and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What do Putin’s constitutional changes mean for Russian nuclear launch authority?” – Federation of American Scientists/ Matt Korda

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… This shift in power [under the new system proposed by Putin] …  poses a series of complications for Russia’s system of nuclear launch authority. Under Article 87.1 of the Russian Constitution, the President is the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces … the Law On Defence states that the Supreme Commander-in-Chief is the ultimate authority on all nuclear-related matter. […]

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Lavrov: U.S. Has ‘No Proof’ Russia Deployed Missile In Violation Of Treaty

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Nov. 8, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/lavrov-u-s-has-no-proof-russia-deployed-missile-in-violation-of-treaty/30259758.html) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has lashed out at the United States, accusing Washington of failing to provide proof that Moscow deployed a missile in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Earlier this year, Washington withdrew […]

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Gorbachev: Nuclear Weapons Putting World In ‘Colossal Danger’

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

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Nov. 4, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/gorbachev-nuclear-weapons-putting-world-in-colossal-danger-/30252113.html) Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that the current standoff between Russia and the West is putting the world in “colossal danger” due to the threat from nuclear weapons. In an interview with the BBC published on […]

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Forget U.S.-Russian Friendship: Let’s Foster ‘Predictable Competition’ [re: George Beebe]

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Thomas Schaffner – Oct. 16, 2019) The U.S. and Russia have reduced their nuclear arsenals by about 70 and 80 percent, respectively, since the peak of the Cold War, according to the Federation of American Scientists, and the two countries remain committed to bilateral and multilateral documents meant to prevent either intentional or accidental war […]

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RUSSIALINK: “U.S. still lacks technology to deploy shorter-range, intermediate-range missiles – Huntsman” – Interfax

File Photo of John Huntsman, Men in Military Uniforms and Others, adapted from image at army.mil

MOSCOW. Oct 2 (Interfax) – The United States, unlike Russia, lacks technology for deploying shorter-range and intermediate-range missiles, outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman said. Commenting on recent U.S. tests, the ambassador said in an interview with Kommersant that the U.S. so far does not possess the necessary technology. He said that if the Pentagon were set to buy […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow ready to discuss with U.S. different solutions to New START issue – Ryabkov” – Interfax

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

MOSCOW. Sept 12 (Interfax) – Russia is ready to discuss with the United States alternative solutions on the issue of prolonging the New START Treaty if Washington expresses its readiness to achieve them, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. “We will continue working on getting the Americans to have a substantive discussion of these ideas, or to discuss some […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Bolton’s resignation increases chances of timely agreement on prolonging New START – Kosachyov” – Interfax

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

MOSCOW. Sept 10 (Interfax) – The chances of timely agreements on renewing the New START treaty on strategic offensive arms have increased with the resignation of U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, Russian Federation Council International Affairs Committee head Konstantin Kosachyov said. “The hope for the New START’s renewal is still alive, and will be as long as it is […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The unraveling of Vladimir Putin” – Joseph Dresen/ The Hill

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“… as tens of thousands of protesters once again took to the streets in Moscow to protest upcoming municipal elections, Russian state television showed a smiling … Putin riding with … [a] motorcycle club in Crimea. … a typical scene … the president doing tough guy stuff at the location of his most popular act of [the] annexation of Crimea. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Says It Won’t Share Rocket Explosion Data as Suspicions Swirl” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 20, 2019) Russia told an international organization set up to verify a ban on nuclear tests that a military testing accident in northern Russia earlier this month was none of its business and that handing it radiation data was entirely voluntary. Russia has acknowledged that five nuclear workers were killed in the explosion on […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Says No Plans to Install New Missiles Unless U.S. Deploys Them” – Reuters

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

“Russia will not deploy new missiles as long as the United States shows similar restraint in Europe and Asia, Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu said …. The United States formally left the … INF[] treaty with Russia … after accusing Moscow of violating the treaty and deploying one banned type of missile, allegations the Kremlin denies. Russia has also pulled […]

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How High Is Risk of Nuclear War Between Russia and US?

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – RM Staff- August 6, 2019) This blog post is a joint product of the Russia Matters project and the Belfer Center’s U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism (IPNT).  Is the risk of a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia now higher than at the height of the Cold War? Yes, it is, according to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Donald Trump says an experimental nuclear-powered cruise missile accidentally blew up in Russia, and here’s why experts say he’s right” – Meduza/ Dmitry Kuznets, Kevin Rothrock (translation)

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

“… August 8, two soldiers and five staff from a nuclear research center in Sarov died in an explosion in the Arkhangelsk region while testing some of Russia’s latest ‘hardware.’ … monitors … recorded raised levels of background radiation … and part of the White Sea has been closed to shipping. The United States … announced openly … the accident […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Are We Headed for Another Expensive Nuclear Arms Race? Could Be.” – New York Times/ Steven Erlanger

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

“After the … death of the [INF Treaty], a new arms race appears to be taking shape … [with] more players … money and … weapons …. [N]ational security adviser … Bolton[] has talked about letting the last strategic-arms control treaty, New START, die in February 2021, without extending it another five years, as foreseen in the accord …. With […]

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Expert Survey: Is Nuclear Arms Control Dead or Can New Principles Guide It?

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – July 30, 2019) With the historic INF Treaty more than likely to terminate, and the future of New START in doubt, what guiding principles for interstate nuclear arms control can we hope for? Of eight U.S., Russian, European and Chinese experts surveyed by Russia Matters, most agree that bilateral agreements between the world’s two nuclear […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian envoy urges U.S., NATO countries to store nukes only in own territories, like Russia does” – Interfax

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

BRUSSELS. July 17 (Interfax) – Russia urges the United States and other NATO countries to store their nuclear arsenals only in their national territories. “Russia deploys and stockpiles all its nuclear weapons exclusively on the national territory. We call upon U.S. and NATO to follow this practice,” Russian Permanent Representative to international organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said on Twitter […]

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RUSSIALINK: “New nuclear arms treaty shouldn’t be worse than New START, but there’s only its outline now – Russia’s Dzhabarov” – Interfax

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

MOSCOW. July 16 (Interfax) – Russia and the United Stated do not have much time left to draw up a new nuclear arms treaty, which should be comprehensive and should not be worse than the 2011 New START Treaty, First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee Vladimir Dzhabarov said. “It seems to me that the architecture […]

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Attitudes of New Leaders in Russia and U.S. Making Nuclear War Ever More Likely, Golts Says

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 9, 2019) The decision of Moscow and Washington to dispense with arms control agreements, the attitude behind that which holds that the most powerful countries must not be constrained by such accords, and the lack of understanding among the leaders in both capitals about the nature of war all make a […]

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JRL NEWSBLOG: “Russian Orthodox Church to stop blessing missiles” – The Times (UK)/ Tom Parfitt

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… a church commission has concluded that one category of blessings is beyond the pale and should not continue: weapons of mass destruction. … at odds with recent practice. … In November, a priest … blessed an S-400 missile unit as it was deployed to the Crimea. The previous year, a priest could … be seen having just completed the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Warns of Repeat of 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis” – Reuters

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

“… [regarding] U.S. deployment of land-based missile systems near Russia’s borders …. ‘If things get as far as an actual deployment on the ground of these sorts of systems, then the situation won’t just get more complicated, it will escalate right to the limit,’ RIA news agency quoted [Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei] Ryabkov as saying. ‘We could find ourselves […]

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Putin Says Russia Prepared To Drop Arms Control Treaty If U.S. Not Interested In Renewal

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – June 6, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-says-russia-prepared-to-drop-arms-control-treaty-if-u-s-not-interested-in-renewal/29984790.html) In a far-ranging discussion on foreign policy, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is prepared to drop the New START arms control treaty if the United States is not interested in renewing it. Speaking on June 6 at […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Still possible to prevent Tehran’s possible withdrawal from JCPOA, NPT – Russian ambassador to Iran” – Interfax

Iran Map and Flag

MOSCOW. May 30 (Interfax) – Moscow will deeply regret Iran’s potential withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), but there is still a chance to avert this negative scenario, Russian Ambassador to Iran Levan Dzhagaryan said in an interview published in the newspaper Izvestia on Thursday. “Doubtlessly, Iran’s […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Says Russia Likely Conducting Low-Yield Nuke Tests, Defying Test Ban Treaty” – Wall Street Journal/ Michael R. Gordon

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

“Intelligence assessment marks first time U.S. has said Kremlin failed to observe Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty commitments” “Russia has likely been secretly carrying out very low-yield nuclear tests to upgrade its nuclear arsenal, according to a new U.S. intelligence assessment, challenging Moscow’s claims …. the first time the U.S. has said the Kremlin has failed to strictly observe its […]

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