Putin: Disclose Missile Defence Plans - Nuke Deal Held Up
Trust but verify, that seems to be the motto for Russia's PM Vladimir Putin. On Tuesday Russian PM Vladimir Putin urged Washington to disclose its missile defence plans before talks on a new Strategic Arms Treaty (START) could go forward.
The current START treaty expired on December 5th. During his visit to Moscow President Obama had a agreed that no missiles would be located in Poland or Czechoslovakia. Both President Obama and Medvedev agreed that they would conclude a new START treaty to continue dismantling nuclear weapons by the end of the year. That deadline is not likely to be met.
Although it was agreed that the talks for a new treaty would be concluded before the end of the year, Russian news agencies signaled that problems in talks between the two nations existed. Apparently Washington has been reluctant to reveal plans.
Putin voiced the fear that Washington may go ahead with its missile defence plans and thereby leaving Russia vulnerable. Based on Washinton's unrevealed plans, thinks if plans were implemented Washington could do anything they wanted.
Putin's comments demonstrate that he is still deeply involved in issues that should be the purview of President Medvedev.
Putin's remarks carried by Russian news agencies signaled difficulties in talks between the two nations on a successor to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty that expired on Dec. 5. Moscow and Washington had hoped to strike a deal before the end of the year but problems persist.
Putin's comments also showed that the former Russian president is continuing to shape Russian foreign policy, which under the constitution should be set by his successor, Dmitry Medvedev.
Putin said that Russia is ready to provide the U.S. with some data about its new missiles, but wants the U.S. to share information about its missile defense plans in return.