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Here’s the rub. When Ukraine escaped from the Soviet Union in 1990, Soviet nukes from the Cold War were still stationed on Ukrainian territory. After a lot of negotiation, Ukraine agreed to return those nuclear weapons to Russia in exchange for what (perhaps naively) its leaders at the time thought would be solid security guarantees from the United States and the United Kingdom. The “Budapest Memorandum” as this agreement is called, does not in fact require the United States to do very much. We can leave Ukraine twisting in the wind without breaking our limited formal obligations under the pact.
If President Obama does this, however, and Ukraine ends up losing chunks of territory to Russia, it is pretty much the end of a rational case for non-proliferation in many countries around the world. If Ukraine still had its nukes, it would probably still have Crimea. It gave up its nukes, got worthless paper guarantees, and also got an invasion from a more powerful and nuclear neighbor.
Russian officials this week carried out a secret inspection of the U.S. strategic missile defense base in California as part of the New START arms treaty, according to Obama administration officials.
The inspection of five missile defense interceptors is allowed under the 2010 arms accord. The treaty requires cuts of U.S. and Russian deployed strategic warheads to 1,550.
The treaty prohibits converting any additional ICBM silos at Vandenberg to missile defense silos, and the five current GBI silos, built prior to the treaty, were “grandfathered” into the accord.
“The administration agreed with Russia to provide assurances to Russia that the converted ICBM silos ‘remain incapable’ of launching strategic offensive arms [and] record the distinguishing features that set a GBI-converted intercontinental silo apart from a pure intercontinental silo,” Moore said.
The Russian visit from Aug. 18 to Aug. 23 is the only time the Russians will be allowed to look at the GBI silos to confirm that they have not been converted back into ICBMs.
Moore said the visit does not appear to be part of the Obama administration’s effort to show more transparency toward Moscow as a way to placate Russian opposition to missile defenses, especially in Europe.
Russia’s Western enablers
Agreed, I'd also add..
It seems Russia and Russian society is one where democracy just won't work.
Aloysius the Gaul
reply to post by Spiramirabilis
you have to remember that Russia/USSR have NEVER had democracy, the rule of law and civil society - not ever. Not as the Rus Ccandinavian adventurers, the Kievan and Muscovite princes, the Mongols, not as subject states of the Golden Horde or under the Rurikid or Romanov or communist dynasties - and also not since the breakup of the USSR.
their entire culture is tied up with autocracy and the church supporting each other - all their assumed values, norms and cultural icons reflect that.
It's too bad they're not more like us
We all get the democracy we deserve I guess