Russia Will Not Renew Pact on Weapons With U.S.
The Russian government said Wednesday that it would not renew a hugely successful 20-year partnership with the United States to safeguard and dismantle nuclear and chemical weapons in the former Soviet Union when the program expires next spring, a potentially grave setback in the already fraying relationship between the former cold war enemies.
The Kremlin’s refusal to renew the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program would put an end to a multibillion-dollar effort, financed largely by American taxpayers, that is widely credited with removing all nuclear weapons from the former Soviet republics of Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus; deactivating more than 7,600 strategic nuclear warheads; and eliminating huge stockpiles of nuclear missiles and chemical weapons, as well as launchers and other equipment and military sites that supported unconventional weapons.
“The American side knows that we would not want a new extension,” a deputy foreign minister, Sergey Ryabkov, told the news agency Interfax. “This is not news.”
In a statement on its Web site, the Russian Foreign Ministry said
that the Obama administration had proposed renewing the arrangement but
that Washington was well aware of Russia’s opposition. “American
partners know that their proposal is not consistent with our ideas about
what forms and on what basis further.
October 11, 2012 - posted at BlackListedNews