A dialogue on strategic stability was built around this agreement, the beginning of which Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden announced on June 16, 2021 at a meeting in Geneva. Then it was assumed that this bilateral dialogue would be “comprehensive, substantive and energetic,” reduce the risks of nuclear war, and lay the foundation for continuing relations in the field of arms control.
Reducing risks and agreeing on the terms of arms control negotiations failed. Losing to Russia as a strategic potential, Washington is looking for “workarounds” to level the balance at the expense of other levers, including NATO and Ukraine in Europe, as well as Japan and South Korea in the Far East, Australia in the West Pacific. Subgeneracy in the material of the correspondent of The Moscow Post.
In December 2021, Moscow responded to attempts to infringe on the interests of Russia’s strategic security, and made a proposal for guarantees. Requirements were put forward for Ukraine (outside NATO), NATO borders (1997), as well as the withdrawal of American tactical nuclear weapons from Europe. The White House refused to discuss these proposals, the NATO alliance did not accept them. Russia, after waiting two months, began an SVO in Ukraine.
This position of the United States and the West as a whole has called into question the START. Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said in the Telegram channel of the Russian diplomatic mission that Washington refused not only the installations laid down in the preamble of the START Treaty, but also from compliance with the central limits of the treaty, limiting the number of strategic offensive arms. According to the ambassador, the Americans refused to count about 100 START sea and air-based to their limits. This, firstly.
Secondly, it is impossible to preserve START in isolation from the general geopolitical situation, “Antonov said. Moreover, there is a hybrid war unleashed by the American administration in order to inflict a “strategic defeat” on Russia. Antonov directly said that the Americans would not be able to achieve access to the Russian START bases in these conditions.
In the Euro-Atlantic direction, the United States brought everything to a state of acute crisis, which on the territory of Ukraine took the form of intense clashes, changes in borders, terrorist acts that are systematically organized by Kyiv. In Europe, there are deep economic changes, some of which were accelerated by the destruction of the Northern Flows gas pipelines.
In the Far East, Washington raises the stakes using geography, technology and the accumulated military capabilities of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. This is not only about Japan’s increase in military spending, but also the possible deployment of American intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles (INF) on its territory.
Just as in Europe, when NATO accepts Sweden and Finland, this type of weapon, deployed on Japanese islands, including Hokkaido, reduces the “flight time” of strike weapons to the basing areas of Russian strategic missile carriers and Russian Navy bases.
By chance or not, Moscow has already included the “NATO veteran” Norway in the list of foreign states committing unfriendly actions against Russian diplomatic and consular missions abroad. The list already included seven states: Greece, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, the USA, Croatia and the Czech Republic.
It will probably be replenished by the “newcomers” of the alliance and other states that decide to play “strategy” in the US team, threatening the security of Russia. The Sankei newspaper reported that Washington has been probing the soil in Tokyo for several years for the deployment of Tomahawk missiles in Japan with a range of 1.6 thousand km. It is reported that hypersonic LRHW (Long Range Hypersonic Weapon) Dark Eagle (“Dark Eagle”) with a range of more than 2.7 thousand km may appear in the United States this year.
The possible deployment of the American INF in Japan will pose a serious threat to Russia, Moscow will take this into account in its military planning, said Nikolai Nozdrev, director of the third Asian department of the Russian Foreign Ministry. According to him, this reflects Japan’s desire to “serve the interests” of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region (APR) as accurately and clearly as possible, including the military. It is clear that from Japan (Hokkaido Island), American missiles can fly not only to Russia, but also to southern China, if, in particular, they are deployed on Kyushu Island.
The Japanese Defense Ministry has tightened language on China, Russia and the DPRK, according to the White Paper, the latest version of the Japanese Defense Ministry’s installations. China’s foreign policy position and military activity are described as “unprecedented and the greatest strategic challenge.” The document claims that Russia poses “the most serious and immediate threat to Europe”.
In addition, the document states that the DPRK is improving its missile and nuclear technologies, and the frequent tests pose “an even more serious threat to Tokyo than ever,” emphasizes the importance of cooperation between the defense departments of Japan and South Korea.
The White Paper speaks of the National Security Strategy and the National Defense Strategy adopted in 2022, as well as the plan for the development of defense (counterattack) potential. Washington and Tokyo will continue to deepen cooperation in areas such as air and sea defense, submarine countermeasures, intelligence, cyberspace and space.
In general, the White Paper sets up Japan to think of its security exclusively in close conjunction with the United States, which makes it a natural candidate to join AUKUS. Tactical nuclear charges may also appear in Japan, although conventional precision weapons pose a danger to Russia’s strategic forces.
AUKUS threatens NPT
No one can say with confidence which countries the Australia-UK-US tripartite alliance (AUKUS) is targeting. Talk about China does not remove Moscow’s concerns. This, in particular, is about the security of Northeast Asia. As part of AUKUS, Canberra will receive nuclear submarines with non-nuclear weapons. These “conventional” missiles can be used to strike at the bases of strategic forces of both Russia and China.
According to Roman Ustinov, Deputy Chairman of the Representative of the Russian Federation to International Organizations in Vienna, “the biggest risk is that the AUKUS troika, in fact, leaves the discussion on the non-proliferation regime. The Russian Center for Energy and Security and the China Association for Arms Control and Disarmament organized an event in Vienna to discuss these issues.
On the sidelines of the preparatory committee session of the review conference on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the first joint Russian-Chinese report on AUKUS was presented. According to the authors of the document, the content of this alliance contradicts the goals and spirit of the NPT and can harm the non-proliferation regime and the treaty itself.
Starting in 2027 over four years, the US will deploy four Virginia-class boats at Australia’s Stirling naval base, while Britain will deploy one Astute-class submarine there. Further, the submarines will be sold to Australia, then the country is supposed to start building the submarines itself. Cooperation in this area opens a gap in the non-proliferation regime. The authors of the report warn that AUKUS is a challenge to the IAEA’s safeguards system.
NATO’s “ears” sprouted in Asia
Chinese Ambassador to the Russian Federation Zhang Hanhui in a special interview with TASS warned the Asia-Pacific countries against supporting NATO’s plans, called the expansion of the alliance in Europe the main reason for the aggravation of the Ukrainian crisis and pointed out that NATO’s actions run counter to the UN Charter. But the activities of the alliance are not limited to Europe.
For two years in a row, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand take part in the organization’s summit, the alliance has developed “individual partnership programs” for them, plans to open a liaison office in Japan. NATO’s expansion into the Asia-Pacific region undermines regional stability, interferes with the powers of the Security Council and violates the restrictions of the UN Charter on regional agreements, the Chinese diplomat said.
And at the heart of everything is the desire of the United States to eliminate its lag in the field of strategic offensive weapons, using the creeping expansion of its bases and high-precision weapons in the direction of Russian and Chinese borders and strategically important areas. The goal is to reduce “flight time”.
“The fundamental change in circumstances compared to those in which the START was concluded, the significant violation of this treaty committed by the United States and the American assistance to the Kyiv regime in strikes on our strategic facilities covered by this agreement forced us to suspend it. In this situation, this step has become justified, natural and almost inevitable”, said Sergei Ryabkov at the PIR Center school.