The U.S.-Russia presidential summit is urgently needed

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Remarks sent to the participants in the 38th Annual U.S.-Russia Forum, Washington, May 21, 2018

I fully share the intention of the participants in the 37th Annual U.S.-Russia Forum, arranged in May 2018 in Washington, to discuss the current state of U.S.-Russia relations and specifically the text of the appeal for the urgent Summit to be arranged between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to find the way out of the most dangerous security crisis facing both nations and the world.

The implications of the security crisis for bilateral relations between Washington and Moscow have produced very strong negative impact, especially upon the arms control process. In has nearly stalled. There are sixteen unresolved issues between the two nations in this area though during the first stage of the Cold War Washington and Moscow have managed to reach accords on strategic nuclear arms limitations and subsequently in their substantial reductions, on the ballistic missiles’ defense limitations, two classes of nuclear-tipped medium-range and shorter-range land-based ballistic and cruise missiles have been scrapped, several confidence-building measures in the military domain have been elaborated.

The global implications of the security crisis are also alarming. While the last century was labelled as the nuclear age, the current one has been characterized as ballistic missile defense age and as a potential space-based arms age. Currently there are eleven arms control arrangements that are either denounced unilaterally, or non-ratified, or partially violated, or completely disregarded by the USA. The INF Treaty that has been widely welcomed all over the world has been violated by the Pentagon 93 (93) times while testing the effectiveness of the U.S.BMDS with the use of medium-range and shorter-range missiles as mock missiles prohibited by the INF Treaty.

The Security Summit between Presidents Trump and Putin is badly needed. The previous U.S. Administration has failed to respond positively to this notion that has been articulated in the Washington Times nearly five years ago (“Washington and Moscow Must Revive the Arms Control Process”//Washington Times. 2013. June 11. Supplement sponsored by the Russia House Associates).

The proposed Summit has to be prepared with the utmost accuracy and dedication displayed by the two sides. It should be oriented to practical, mutually acceptable solutions to be clearly understood and shared by the American and Russian citizens, and by the entire world community.

Certainly, it is difficult to imagine that the leaders of two superpowers could resolve all sixteen unresolved issues in the arms control area during their first Summit. But, in order to make a considerable step forward to greater bilateral and global security they have to make at least a number of initial steps, for example:

1. To sign the legally-binding Treaty on no-first-use of any kind of nuclear weapons with any yield against each other. If such agreement is not reached to reach agreements on the rest proposals listed below will be useless

2. To reach an agreement on limiting the total number of strategic BMD interceptors to a certain limit, e.g. 2.000 for each side, excluding PAC-3 Patriot-type AAD/BMD for each side; and on limiting their geographic deployment closer than 1.000 km to each territory.

3. To reach an accord not to field for more than 24 hours any kind of nuclear weapons, both strategic and tactical, outside national territory of the two sides. The USA has to pull back all its tactical nuclear weapons from Europe and the Asian part of Turkey, thus making a geographic parity in their deployments limited to their respective territories.

5. To sign a bilateral treaty banning space-based striking weapons, including ASAT assets and BMDS interceptors.

4. To sign a new CFE Treaty applied to Europe covering the same five types of heavy weapons specified in the earlier CFE-1 and CFE-1A accords.

All these measures are the most urgent. They require prompt and concrete solutions to be made at the level of the Presidents of the USA and the Russian Federation. Only they can, if they wish, to restore the profitable arms control process that has been stalled. That is why the appeal of all rational personalities in the USA and the Russian Federation should be addressed to them, to their wisdom and to their dedication to make our world safer, stable and predictable.

Written by Vladimir P. Kozin, Source: Russia House

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