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Biden-Putin Agreement to Renew START Agreements, but there is tension over Ukraine

US-Russian Relations

The new American president is calling his Russian counterpart for the first time since the election. The treaty, which should have expired on February 5, has been renewed

By Antonella Scott

Biden presses Made in the US to reduce imports

The new American president is calling his Russian counterpart for the first time since the election. The treaty, which should have expired on February 5, has been renewed

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Although it was expected, it arrived earlier than expected, just days before the deadline. The disarmament agreement takes Russia and the United States back to the era of major accords, and immediately sets a different tone for relations between Moscow and Washington in the early days of the Biden era. Even if the decision to extend the “New Beginning” – the bilateral treaty that puts an end to deployed nuclear warheads and their transportation systems – runs the risk of becoming a single piece of grass in the desert. But even this thread was in danger of being broken.

It’s as if Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin, who last night heard on the phone for the first time since the election, on the initiative of the White House, immediately played their best card. They have a series of tense conversations behind them, starting with the first meeting in Moscow in 2011, when Vice President Biden first appeared with a cold joke about Putin, then the prime minister, and then went to meet opposition representatives. Also last night the phone, Biden immediately sued one of them, Alexei Navalny, who has been in prison since Jan.17 awaiting trial.

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The US President expressed his concern to Putin, following the G7 summit that it launched in the same hours, through a statement signed by the foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, and condemned the “politically motivated” arrest of the anti-corruption activist, as well as the arrest of protesters. Those arrested during the protests last Saturday. Tass does not speak about all of this, which yesterday evening highlighted the announcement of the agreement approved by the conversation between the two presidents.

“In the coming days – the Kremlin explains – the two sides will implement all necessary measures to ensure the continuation of this important mechanism of international law, which limits nuclear arsenals.” The New Beginning, signed by the Russians and the Americans on April 8, 2010, is a legally binding treaty with a verification regime, which is constantly tested in a climate of mutual distrust. It capped 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads per side, and could be deployed on up to 700 launch systems: grenade launchers, ICBMs, and submarine-launched missiles. After Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the United States, followed by the Russians, the INF (Control of Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty, renegotiated after its predecessors, was the first and second start, the last major remaining disarmament agreement. It ends on February 5, with the possibility of extending it for a period not exceeding five years. The Kremlin reported that Putin had expressed a desire to normalize Biden’s relations with the United States.

But, along with Navalny, the White House phone call report confirms on the other front that makes a real breakthrough seem so difficult: Ukraine, with Crimea and the Donbas crisis remaining unresolved, on the sidelines of negotiation efforts in this regard. Region. The year focused on the pandemic. Both Moscow and Washington had an interest in extending the start rather than accelerating the arms race further. But it is difficult to imagine that the agreement, even if it was a good start, would be sufficient to favor rapprochement also on the Ukrainian front, or to loosen the Kremlin’s grip on the opposition, as the agreement with Putin was not another important first contact. Lil Biden. He also invited US President Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO. Here, too, with the European allies, there are relationships that must be re-launched. Biden reaffirmed the US commitment to collective defense enshrined in Article 5 of NATO.

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