Russian Reset a Cold War Restart

Symbolic Reset Button for U.S.-Russian relations

From Ariel Cohen, the National Interest:  [Russia’ Ambassador to NATO Dmitry] Rogozin also raised the issue of legally binding “reliable assurances” that a NATO system does not pose a threat to Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces.

However, Sen. Kyl noted that Russia is not willing to provide equally binding assurances that its ICBMs are not aimed at America. In fact, the only targets Russia can hit with its hundreds of heavily protected and mobile ICBMs are in North America. All others are much closer and can be targeted with the type of intermediate-range ballistic missiles the USSR and the United States gave up under Reagan and Gorbachev. The real assurances of Russia’s peaceful intentions would be the total destruction of such ICBMs, which is unrealistic.

Furthermore, Rogozin asked that Moscow and Washington operate two regional missile-defense systems—with full Russian access to U.S. early warning data and other sensitive information including U.S. system architecture. “What they can’t get through espionage, they want to get through a [missile defense] agreement,” the official present at the meeting told me. And Russia wants the United States to agree not to shoot down any missiles over Russian territory.

This is an untenable demand. When a missile is in the air, the United States should not be restrained from intercepting it just because it is launched over Russian territory.

The bottom line: Moscow is seeking ways to limit U.S. missile defenses as it did during the Cold War. . . .  (photo: Reuters/Xinhua)

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