December 15, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10380

Russian Diplomatic Academy Official: Only Victory In Ukraine Will Allow Russia To Return To Arms Control Discussions From A Position Of Strength

December 15, 2022
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 10380

In the following piece that appeared in Izvestiya the deputy rector of the Russian Foreign Ministry's diplomatic academy charges that the US has departed from the long-established practice of US-Russian diplomacy of stepping back from the diplomatic abyss, a practice derived from the lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Russia has been shocked by the failure of the US to heed Putin's warnings that intervention in the Ukraine conflict could threaten nuclear war.[1]

Instead of being chastened by the nuclear danger, the Americans have steadily weakened strategic nuclear stability by abandoning agreements under successive administrations. Karpovich charges that the US " make no secret of its desire to maximally destabilize our country to the point of its [Russia's] disintegration, while at the same time preparing for a limited nuclear confrontation. In this context, arms control talks make no sense and they should be shelved until Russia has achieved victory in Ukraine.

Karpovich's article follows below:[2]

Oleg Karpovich (Source:

Arms control negotiations remains as one of the few components in the Russo-American dialogue that has yet to lose its current relevance. In one form or another, they have been continuing nearly uninterrupted since the 1960s, when “echo” of the Cuban Missile Crisis compelled the two countries' leadership to arrive at the simple understanding: a nuclear war cannot be won, and therefore shouldn't be initiated.

Nevertheless, as in all other constructive aspects of Moscow – Washington relations, this issue didn’t escape the degradation provoked by US hegemonic ambitions. The withering away process of the decades-long system actively began after the USSR’s collapse, at a time when American elites, intoxicated by the “end of history,” strived to consolidate the “new world order” via destroying the recent past's [order].

The first victim was the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty [hereafter - ABM]. Lobbyists of the major military-industrial corporations, who spared no expense in pursuing billions of dollars in contracts, also played an important role. Meanwhile, the US was making every effort to advance the destruction of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, from which Russia was literally forced to withdraw. Already under the Trump administration, adherents of neo-conservative approach to arms control have initiated Washington’s complete repudiation of its obligations under the Intermediate--Range and Shorter-Range Missiles Treaty and the Open Skies Treaty.

Biden, who affirmed his commitment to rational diplomacy, has done little to bring about a return to constructive cooperation on this issue. His only positive step was consent to a “START-3” arms reduction treaty extension. However, it soon became clear that this decision, too, was not really motivated by a concern for maintaining strategic stability.

The US considers the agreement rather as a means for controlling (through inspections provided for under its text) the state of Russia’s nuclear arsenal, including for leveling future claims and accusations against Moscow, as it did on the eve of its withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty). Wherein, Washington was doing everything possible to circumvent the Treaty's prescribed restrictions on, for instance, the quantity of silo missile launchers and strategic bombers.

Effectively, the Biden administration was turning treaty compliance verification into a one-way game. Formally speaking, it was precisely because of this that Russia was forced to postpone consultations with the US on this issue indefinitely. But this is not the only problem hindering arms control communication.

When this system was erected, Moscow and Washington were trying their best to step back from the brink upon which the world found itself in the early stages of the Cold War. The idea of peaceful coexistence between the two systems dominated the minds of politicians in the two countries. Things are completely different now. The US included a paragraph on preemptive nuclear strike capability in its strategic documents, while the Pentagon is actively developing limited-use concepts for tactical nuclear arms.

Statements on part of Biden’s associates that Washington is prepared to launch a conventional strike against Russian forces deployed in the new territories [that Russia took from Ukraine] likewise attest that the US no longer fears the fatal consequences of a Russo-American military confrontation. The massive supply of arms to Ukraine itself has, de facto, turned the US into a party to the conflict. Under these circumstances, it is absurd to pretend that in the past year there have been no developments in our dialogue over the past year.

Russia and the US are now, essentially, in a state of hybrid warfare. The American authorities make no secret of their desire to maximally destabilize our country to the point of its disintegration, at the same time preparing for a limited nuclear confrontation. With this particular background in mind, the very idea of continuing negotiations on offensive arms reduction raises doubts.

It's likely that only by emerging victorious from the US-instigated Ukraine crisis will Russia be in a sufficiently strong position to return to the relevant issue. The very abandonment of the dialogue principles shaped by the great diplomats of the past was not our original choice. But it did allow us to once again witness the hypocrisy of our former Western partners and to reflect on whether this system needs a restructure, and whether it’s still complies with [Russia's] national interest.

There is no doubt that, in the near future, the Russian president will provide a logical and well-considered answer to all these questions.

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