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Obama and Putin disagreement on reduction of strategic nuclear weapons to one-third
By Olga Brajnović Posted in Americas, Dialog and diplomacy, Europe, Ideals, World and Politics on June 20, 2013 3 Comments
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Map of nuclear-armed states of the world. (Wikipedia)
Map of nuclear-armed states of the world. (Wikipedia)

President Obama used his speech in Berlin  to announce plans to reduce “the number and role of America’s nuclear weapons” and challenged Russia to reduce their strategic nuclear weapons “by up to one-third”. A move that now has to have an answer by the Kremlin, that according to Reuters, is reluctant to do so because of the high capability of non-nuclear strategic weapons deployed by the US and NATO that can “upset the strategic balance”.

“These weapons are approaching the level of strategic nuclear arms in terms of their strike capability. States possessing such weapons strongly increase their offensive potential,” Putin said.

So if Russia is not willing to reduce their strategic nuclear weapons at the same level the agreement will be difficult to go beyond the levels of the Cold War as president Obama said.

The dream of a world without nuclear weapons remains a dream. First because we have all this strategic weapons deployed in Europe pointing at each other without any need if technically we are at peace. And second, because so many other countries – China, France, the UK, India and Pakistan – have nuclear weapons controlled or without control like happens with Israel, and others are trying to obtain the technology (allegedly Iran and North Korea).

This is what President Obama said about the nuclear weapons in Berlin:

Peace with justice means pursuing the security of a world without nuclear weapons – no matter how distant that dream may be.  And so, as President, I’ve strengthened our efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, and reduced the number and role of America’s nuclear weapons.  Because of the New START Treaty, we’re on track to cut American and Russian deployed nuclear warheads to their lowest levels since the 1950s.

But we have more work to do.  So today, I’m announcing additional steps forward.  After a comprehensive review, I’ve determined that we can ensure the security of America and our allies, and maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent, while reducing our deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third.  And I intend to seek negotiated cuts with Russia to move beyond Cold War nuclear postures.

At the same time, we’ll work with our NATO allies to seek bold reductions in U.S. and Russian tactical weapons in Europe.  And we can forge a new international framework for peaceful nuclear power, and reject the nuclear weaponization that North Korea and Iran may be seeking.

America will host a summit in 2016 to continue our efforts to secure nuclear materials around the world, and we will work to build support in the United States to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and call on all nations to begin negotiations on a treaty that ends the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons.  These are steps we can take to create a world of peace with justice.

Barack Obama Berlin Cold-War New START Nuclear Weapons Russia United States

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