Assistant Secretary Rose Gottemoeller today said the new START Treaty implementation is going pretty well during an interview with Maria Tabek of Ria Novosti.
Ms. Gottmoeller stated that December 22nd was the one-year anniversary of the ratification of the New START Treaty in the US Senate. She said it was a major event in not only in U.S. political life but for the Russian federation as well since ratification took place.
“I believe a little bit later by the Federation Council and the Duma. The Treaty actually entered into force February 5th, 2011. It was very difficult fight, hard work for us in the executive branch and I was very much involved in the team that was leading the effort for the executive branch to get the treaty ratified. For me it is a special day.” -Ms. Gottemoller
She cited that the United States government is very happy about the way the implementation of the treaty is going so far. She noted that both countries had really kept the pace with each other. She reported that Russia has now done 17 inspections and the United States have done 16.
“I suspect that soon after Christmas we’ll have our 17th. And each of us has the right before the 5th of February 2012 to do 18 inspections. Every treaty year from February to February we have a right to do 18 inspections – we in Russia and Russia here in USA.” -Ms. Gottemoeller
She reported that President Obama the day he signed the New START Treaty on April 8th of 2010 said that both countries should be looking for the next nuclear reduction negotiation and began to plan for it. She stated that President Obama has mentioned three categories actually for future reduction negotiations.
She noted that the first category would be further reductions in deployed nuclear warheads. She said these warheads are the easiest ones to see from outer space, from either Russian satellites or US satellites.
She pointed out that President Obama has proposed two new categories. One – non-deployed nuclear weapons, weapons that are in storage facilities or reserve and the third category is non-strategic weapons or tactical nuclear weapons.
“Those last two categories are brand new and for that reason we have been very interested in working with Russian Federation on some new approaches that will be necessary for verifying such agreements.” -Ms. Gottemoeller
Ms. Gottemoeller also stressed that the United States do not accept that Russia has a reason to withdraw now from the treaty. She said Russia has expressed its concern about future missile defense development.
“We will continue to make our case and we believe that missile defense cooperation is the way to really develop the predictability for the RF and develop confidence in Russia in what the missile defense system is capable of doing.” -Ms. Gottemoeller
She stressed that the United States do not accept or believe that US missile defense system will undermine the strategic nuclear offensive deterrent of the Russian Federation.
“We’ve been very clear that we do not believe that legally binding guarantees are necessary. And in fact the important point here is to engage in cooperation. It’s a pragmatic point.” -Ms. Gottemoller
She emphasized that it is through the real work together on this program that they will begin to understand what the benefits are for Russia and what US mutual benefit will be in their cooperating.
“And Russia’s technical concerns will be satisfied. It’s very pragmatic. So we’ve been emphasizing it for months now and will continue to do so.” -Ms. Gottemoeller