WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 23rd February, 2023) The US and Russia are unlikely to restart nuclear negotiations until the United States gets a new president because the Biden administration is entirely focused on undermining Moscow and continuing the conflict in Ukraine, experts told Sputnik.
Russian President Vladimir Putin officially announced Moscow was pulling out of its long-running talks with the United States for a New START treaty during his Tuesday address to the Federal Assembly. He also accused the United States of developing new types of nuclear weapons and considering new nuclear weapons tests.
“What is the point of negotiating with Washington, and especially with Biden in the White House, when the lie is the rule?” American University in Moscow President Edward Lozansky, a former Soviet nuclear physicist, told Sputnik.
Lozansky said Moscow has little reason to trust Washington amid numerous deceptions, the latest being the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines.
Los Alamos Study Group Co-Founder and Director Greg Mello said Moscow freezing the talks was not surprising when Russian nuclear bases have been attacked, with US help.
“US leaders have made it clear on multiple occasions that the purpose of this war is to defeat Russia, and they have acted accordingly,” Mello said. “This is an existential war for Russia, because the West – principally the US – made it one.”
Biden could defuse this situation, he added, if he really wanted peace.
“He doesn’t want peace and he doesn’t care about Ukrainians except as soldiers against Russia,” Mello said.
US constitutional historian and political commentator Dan Lazare said Putin clearly does not want to destroy START, but it is hard to see how he can continue negotiating with a country that is actively working towards his overthrow.
The larger significance, he added, is that the international climate deteriorates with each new escalation, but at a certain point the effects will start to snowball as either side casts aside restraint.
“Wars do not promote moderation. Rather, they result in a process of mutual radicalization as either side resorts to tactics that are ever more extreme,” Lazare told Sputnik.
While it still might be willing to talk, it is hard to see how progress can advance with relations at such a rancorous level, he added.
“So regardless of who makes the first move, negotiations are grinding to a halt,” Lazare warned.
Earlier in the day, Biden described Russia‘s decision as a “big mistake” as the presidents of Romania, Slovakia and Poland greeted him at the Bucharest Nine meeting. This came after Biden earlier in the week delivered a fiery speech in Poland intended to rally NATO to back Ukraine against Russia.
New START, in effect since February 5, 2011, is the last remaining legally binding arms agreement between the United States and Russia – the two countries with the largest nuclear capabilities.
Under the treaty, the United States and Russia have been required to reduce their nuclear arsenal to a total of 700 missiles, 800 launchers, and 1,550 deployed warheads.