A new US-Russia nuclear arms control treaty went into effect on Saturday, securing a key foreign policy goal of US President Barack Obama and raising hopes among officials on both sides that it will provide the impetus for Moscow and Washington to negotiate further reductions.
“The treaty marks significant progress toward President Obama’s vision of a world without nuclear weapons,” US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said after exchanging ratification papers with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sideline of an international security conference in Munich.
“Partnership with Russia is vital to our continued progress and to all that we hope to accomplish,” she said. “We must build the habits of cooperation that let us rise above our differences to address urgent matters of global security together.”
The New START — the first major revamping of nuclear disarmament deals since the late Cold War era — was approved by the US Senate last month after a bruising fight during which Obama pressed strongly for its passage. Russia ratified the deal last month.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov suggested that the two countries could build upon the new treaty in other areas, saying that “coordinated efforts” were needed in missile defense and that Moscow was also -willing to talk about tactical nuclear weapon reductions.
“We are ready to discuss this very complex topic in the framework of a comprehensive approach to strategic stability,” he said.
He also stressed that any “hypothetical” negotiations on tactical nuclear weapons “must take into consideration not only Russia’s or the US nuclear arsenal, but weapons systems of all nuclear and “threshold” states.
The 10-year New START, which can be extended by another five years, is a cornerstone of Obama’s efforts to “reset” US relations with Russia, and Clinton called it a “milestone in our strategic partnership.”
“When it comes to the button that has worried us the most over the years — the one that would unleash nuclear destruction — today we take another step to ensure it will never be pushed,” Clinton told reporters after the treaty went into effect.
Lavrov said the treaty was in the national interests of both Russia and the US.
“Both Russia and the US share responsibility for security in the whole world,” he said through a translator.
The treaty builds on the original START, or Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, initially proposed by former US president Ronald Reagan, which went into effect in 1994. The conclusion of the New START comes the day before the 100th anniversary of Reagan’s birth.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.
Taiwanese-independence advocates yesterday accused former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of breaking national security laws and called on the judiciary to investigate after his statement that “China will wage a battle, which will be quick and will be the last battle for Taiwan.” Ma showed his true colors “as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party” in his speech on Monday when he said the “first battle will be the last,” Taiwan Republic Office (台灣國辦公室) director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said. “Ma is threatening Taiwanese by claiming that Beijing will launch a quick invasion of Taiwan, but that the US military will have no