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Subject: Russia wants other countries to join START treaty
Alexis    10/17/2009 2:29:29 AM
According to the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, the other official nuclear states should join the START treaty after the reductions which are now discussed have been agreed upon : h**p://en.rian.ru/russia/20091017/156495613.html “As for other nuclear countries joining the cause, evidently this will soon become a practical necessity, because if we reach the reduction agreement Russia is suggesting, its nuclear potential will be comparable to those of other official nuclear states,” On the face of it, this declaration is just incoherent : US and Russia are presently negotiating possible reduction to 1500 operational strategic nuclear warheads. Even if they agreed on a much more ambitious reduction - to 1000 - that would still be several times more than France's or Britain's strategic arsenal of less than 300 each, and China's of less than 200. Maybe Lavrov is just obfuscating and grabbing a pretext not to agree on more ambitious reductions: refusal by the three other official nuclear powers to reduce their small arsenals could give Russia a cover for that. But there's another interpretation: while it's politically difficult to imagine either France or Britain expanding widely their arsenals save if the international environment changed dramatically for the worse, the Chinese government doesn't have the same democratic constraints. Chinese economic power continues to increase at the same time as new and better types of nuclear missiles begin to be produced (DF-31A / JL-2) So maybe Russia is aiming to constraint a future Chinese outbreak to much higher numbers of deployed strategic nuclear weapons. What do you think?
 
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