THE US-RUSSIA RELATIONSHIP: BILATERAL NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL
On March 11, 2019, Partnership for a Secure America hosted an off-the-record dinner and discussion with CPP alumni on bilateral arms control agreements between the United States and Russia. Bilateral arms control agreements have long been a cornerstone of the U.S.-Russia relationship, serving as a means of diplomatic engagement and a vehicle for nuclear threat reduction. President Trump intends to withdraw the United States from the 1988 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), and has reportedly been critical the 2009 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). Since 2014 the U.S. State Department has repeatedly stated that it believes two Russian missile systems are in violation of INF, and Russia has leveled similar accusations at the U.S.
Legislation aiming to preserve the INF treaty introduced during the 115th Congress stalled. The New START treaty’s 10 year duration ends in 2021 without agreement on a 5 year extension. Today, Capitol Hill faces a rapidly changing environment characterized by rising nuclear instability. America’s adversaries continue development of INF Treaty-violating weapons systems, and with great fanfare Russia has unveiled a new generation of strategic nuclear weapons. Now is the time for bipartisan action that advances America’s interests and maintains stable global nuclear deterrence.