New York Times on the Web Forums Science
Russian military leaders have expressed concern about US plans
for a national missile defense system. Will defense technology be
limited by possibilities for a strategic imbalance? Is this just SDI
all over again?
(7855 previous messages)
- 12:26pm Aug 13, 2001 EST (#7856
August 13, 2001
Rumsfeld Unable to Sway Russians on ABM Treaty By REUTERS
MOSCOW, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Russia rejected
calls by visiting U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Monday
to abandon a landmark nuclear deterrence pact so that Washington
could develop a missile defence.
" Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said Rumsfeld
had failed to convince him that the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile
(ABM) treaty banning national missile defences should be
" ``The existing, multi-layered system of
strategic security which exists in the world today fully meets
Russian needs,'' Ivanov told reporters.
"\ ``And we feel no compunction to leave...any
treaty or accord which we currently have,'' he said.
" Ivanov was speaking at a Kremlin news
conference after a meeting with Rumsfeld and Russian President
" Earlier, Rumsfeld said George W. Bush's
administration would move ahead with research on missile defence
even if such a step violated the ABM treaty.
" He said the agreement had outlived its
usefulness after the end of the Cold War.
" Putin told reporters before the meeting that
Moscow considered ABM closely linked to the START-1 and START-2
nuclear arms reduction treaties.
" Russia wants to go far beyond the current
START-2 treaty which would cut the arsenals of each country by
half to about 3,500 warheads.
RUSSIA NEEDS ANSWERS
" Putin said he was pleased the two countries
were proceeding with talks on last month's agreement between him
and Bush to link discussions on offensive and defensive nuclear
" ``We hope that the high level of Russian-U.S.
talks will lead to solutions in the field of offensive weapons and
defensive systems,'' Putin said.
" He said Russia needed answers from Washington
on new and lower thresholds for the number of nuclear weapons on
both sides, as well as suggestions on verification and
transparency in cutting nuclear arsenals.
" Ivanov said verification would become a major
issue once offensive and defensive capabilities were linked.
" ``What we are trying to do is create a
change, a whole new configuration in the U.S.-Russian strategic
relationship by looking at both offensive and defensive nuclear
systems at the same time,'' he said.
" ``But if you reduce nuclear confrontation and
you start reducing nuclear warheads you will need verification,
verification becomes that much more important.
" ``Beyond that we now have to also look at how we
look at offensive systems and link them very carefully to
defensive systems -- and this becomes a very, very complicated
" The United States has said its development of a
planned missile defence could soon threaten to break ABM
" But Ivanov said that talks with Washington
could go on for some time. ``I don't see any possible way we can
take something that complicated and do it in a couple of months,''
- 12:27pm Aug 13, 2001 EST (#7857
RUSSIAN DEMANDS NO SURPRISE
" At a later forum with academics and Russian
defence experts, Rumsfeld stressed that his Moscow talks had
covered a wide range of issues from economic ties to jointly
" ``I don't want to shock or surprise anybody,
but the truth is that our relationship is considerably broader and
deeper and more complex than missile defence,'' he said.
" In the Kremlin, he said Washington would have
no trouble agreeing with Russia on verification of nuclear cuts
although it has not decided yet on how far they could be
" A senior U.S. defence official, speaking to
reporters who travelled with Rumsfeld, said Ivanov's demands to
mate talks on offensive and defensive weapons and provide
specifics from the U.S. on potential nuclear missile cuts had come
as no surprise.
" ``The dialogue is proceeding as we thought it
would,'' said the official, adding that ``it was a lively exchange
between President Putin and Secretary Rumsfeld.''
" Interfax news agency said more Russian-U.S.
consultations were planned next week.
New York Times on the Web Forums Science