3 February, 23:26

Russia can rid the world of nuclear weapons by reinforcing START - NAPF director

Russia can rid the world of nuclear weapons by reinforcing START - NAPF director

The United States has started the deployment of its missile defense ships in Europe. In response to the announcement the Russian Foreign Ministry’s top disarmament official warned Russian might withdraw from the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty if the US continues boosting its anti-missile capabilities. Alice Slater, a New York director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, talked with the Voice of Russia very own Yevgeniy Sukhoi about the prospects of future disarmament.

During his Munich speech Chuck Hagel mentioned that this move was mainly aimed at threats coming from Iran. But is it a true aim of the United States. Doesn’t it look like arms race as Hagel clearly indicated the US was concerned over China and Russia’s efforts?

I think the US is in the grip of this military industrial complex that is driving a horrendous arms race and I think that the US, even though I am a citizen, has been provoking it because in 2002 George Bush walked out of the anti-ballistic missile treaty and Russia and China had been proposing at the UN Commission on Disarmament a treaty to ban weapons in space. And every country votes except the US would block it, we wouldn’t have consensus.

So, the US is blocking arms reductions and moves towards peaceful uses and then turns to Iran and tells its country that Russia and China were rearming, so we have to spend even more money on arms. So, we are really in an arms race with ourselves and I think it would be awful if Russia pulled out of this Start treaty.

I think what Russia should do is come to the meeting in Mexico this month where they are talking about a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, and they had the first meeting in Oslo last year and the 5 nuclear weapon states, the P5, Russia, the US, China, England and France, boycotted the meeting. I think Russia and China or whoever else they can get should break away and start moving to get rid of these nuclear weapons. 

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry’s top disarmament official the move might prompt retaliatory measures on the part of Russia? How do you see this announcement? Do you think Russia might really respond if the US continues boosting its anti-missile capabilities?

Russia has been making it very clear even from the time that they adopted the 2000 non-proliferation treaty that we didn’t respect strategic security stability that they would not abide by some of these agreements. And putting missiles in Poland and Romania after we promised Gorbachev that we wouldn’t expand NATO after the war came down, - I mean we are a really bad actor on the stage.

But I don’t think Russia will win or the world will win by Russia and China rearming and trying to overtake. I think they have to do a Jiu-jitsu like shifting power balance. Putin wrote this fabulous article in the New York Times about Syria and he actually was able to stop the bombing of Syria because the people listened to him. If Putin would go to Mexico and say we are ready to negotiate the treaty to ban the bomb, it would wake up Americans to stop what our country is doing because right now they are in a fog. They think they are doing it because they have to do it because Russia and China were doing it and the news are not properly reported.

But we need something dramatic from Russia, not pulling out of the START treaty but going to Mexico this month and say “we are ready to get rid of the nuclear weapons” and putting it back in our court and bring the public attention in America to how America is provoking things, which Americans don’t realize right now.

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