U.S., Russia break an 18-year silence: Russian Academy of Sciences member
Russian Academy of Sciences U.S and Canada Institute International Research Centre Director Anatoly Utkin specially for Trend European Desk
There is an agreement for an Obama-Medvedev meeting. Obama is also expected to meet with the Chinese leader. The new U.S. president will get acquainted with his partners for the next four years. We are very pleased with this meeting.
Three weeks ago, The New York Times quite suddenly published an article that the new head of the White House had sent a letter to the Russia President. Medvedev's inner circles announced that the message had been received.
Of course, this letter has two sides. Russia flatly refused to engage in a strategic exchange - for example, the Americans stop "digging" in Poland, and Moscow starts pressing on Tehran. We do not like this approach. But we like the other component of the matter: the U.S. and Russia have broken an 18-year silence. I will say honestly that we feel flattering. The greatest power of today is holding unique negotiations with Russia. And the negotiations concern no one more. This is the same G2, which was attributed to China and the Americans for the near future. We like that we will probably again operate in a mode envisaging Russian representatives' visits to any U.S. facilities this year and Americans' visit to Russian facilities that seem suspicious to them.
We like the fact that Russia will not have to create a new type of missile. The most important of the four strategic agreements expires in 2009. Under this Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-1), we destroyed half of the missiles, which the West calls "Satan". This is the most powerful rocket in the world, with eight homing warheads. Only one such rocket can cover the entire territory of Russia. But the rocket is operated by liquid fuel. So, it needs refilling every day. And that is quite a complicated thing. It was produced in 70s-80s of the last century.
In short, we face a choice. The first option is to make a new leap forward that we are partially doing. Thus, we are creating three new and best in the world submarines - Duke Alexander Nevsky, Duke Suvorov and Duke Donskoy. We are creating mobile missiles operated by solid fuel, such as the Topol-M, etc.
The second option is that we again begin reducing our capabilities on the backdrop of the hard crisis and unemployment. I recall the words of former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara. He said that 200 warheads are required to destroy the U.S. or Russia. Russia has possessed 200 explosives for a long time. We even possess 7,000 explosives. In order not to create new ones and maintain the old ones for a long time, we would like to go through a route that Obama offers: to increase number of our rockets up to 1,000. It will be more than French, English and Chinese people possess and it will be more than is required to destroy the opposite side. Therefore we enter rating of first two super powers for the reason of political and strategic importance.
The most terrible thing about these rockets is that you will never use them as their use means radioactive circuit over the earth and end of biological existence.
The first meeting as a part of an attempt to launch dialogue took place in Geneva between Lavrov and Clinton. Now we expect meetings on high level. Russia is hopeful that Obama, like Lincoln, will choose sensible and realistic route and will not play for U.S. strength. The United States faces not only economic, but also military crisis. They face hardships even in dispatching five more battalions to Iraq.
We also hope to find common ground possibly with Azerbaijan's help. I mean the Gabala radar station which can serve to fix rockets in the neighbor Iran. Such idea still persists.
As a whole, one can say that the relations have moved forward. Following eight-year self-confidence of Americans we can see that the world has moved forward, our situation has improved and the situation has changed considerably. The West has weakened to a great degree, China has developed into a super giant and Russia stood on its feet once again.
We would like the events that took place after the Great Depression not to repeat. Following the Great Depression, Germany, France and U.S. passed laws to close their borders so that Russia will not whip on snobbism of each of the mentioned countries. We do not want it to happen.
I do not support globalism, but I think a shift to clearly indicated self-dependency is very dangerous. Therefore we are looking forward to the first meeting of our Presidents on April 2. Both of them are newcomers and both of them are famous within their own countries rather than abroad. Both of them have a chance to go down into history if they cease unreasonable arms drive.
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