Arms Control after START II: Next Steps on the U.S.-Russian Agenda [Updated June 22, 2001]   [open pdf - 142KB]

"The U.S.-Russian arms control process has stalled. The Russian parliament approved the ratification of the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II) in April 2000, shortly after the newly elected president, Vladimir Putin, expressed his support. Russia will not, however, allow START II to enter into force until the United States approves agreements signed in 1997 that would extend the elimination period in START II and clarify the 1972 ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile] Treaty. The Russian Federal Law on Ratification also said that Russia could consider withdrawing from the START II Treaty if the United States withdraws from the ABM Treaty. This latter provision responds to the U.S. interest in developing and deploying missile defenses that could go beyond the limits in the ABM Treaty and Russian concerns that such a system might eventually undermine Russia's nuclear deterrent. [...] In the future, the United States and Russia could continue to negotiate arms control treaties, reduce their forces through informal agreements, or forgo coordinated arms control and size their forces according to their own economic and security interests. Supporters of this latter path acknowledge that the United States would lose the transparency and predictability of formal arms control, but believe the formal arms control process has become less important in the post-Cold War era. Others argue that, regardless of the changes in the international security environment, it would be politically unwise to abandon the formal arms control process at this time. Many in Russia mayprefer to continue with arms control, to ensure reductions in U.S. offensive forces, to retain limits on U.S. defenses, and to garner favorable opinions in the international community. But, if the United States continues to pursue limited defenses, Russia, too, may have to pursue alternatives to the formal arms control process."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL30660
Public Domain
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U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://fpc.state.gov/
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