Friday, January 14, 2011

Remember Obama's START treaty with the Russians?

There is an update on that today. Seems the Russians are including an escape clause after the fact. In other words, having passed the US house and senate and been ratified and then signed by Obama, the Russians have now said not completely.

In other words, they are opting in only as long as the START limitations suit them. And they fully intend to opt out at any point the limitations don't suit them.

That's one helluva deal you got yourself there Barry. Should we start calling you Neville now?

New START will commit each side to ceilings of 1,550 warheads on deployed strategic missiles and bombers within seven years and establish verification rules to replace those that expired in 2009 with the 1991 START I treaty.

Analysts say rejection of the treaty by Russia's parliament, dominated by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's ruling United Russia party, is out of the question. The amendments enabled Russia to underscore how it views the pact.

Duma international affairs committee chairman Konstantin Kosachyov said the amendments would "restore balance" after the U.S. Senate irked Russia with its interpretations of the treaty.

The amendments stipulate that Russia could withdraw if military deployments or even plans by the United States or NATO jeopardize its security.

They highlight lingering rifts over U.S. plans for a European anti-missile shield and Russian concerns over other weapons it fears the United States or NATO could deploy.

A missile system that weakens Russia's nuclear arsenal would "force us to use the article of the treaty that provides for the withdrawal of a state that feels violated in terms of security," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the Duma, Interfax reported.

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