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Unformatted text preview: Fall 2009 The Ambassadors REVIEW 18 Russia, the United States, and the Challenge of Global Nonproliferation John Beyrle United States Ambassador to the Russian Federation peaking to Russian students at the New Economic School graduation during his visit to Moscow in July, President of the United States, Barack Obama, succinctly expressed the greatest challenge facing us: the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The notion that prestige comes from holding these weapons, or that we can protect ourselves by picking and choosing which nations can have these weapons, is an illusion. In the short period since the end of the Cold War, weve already seen India, Pakistan, and North Korea conduct nuclear tests. Without a fundamental change, do any of us truly believe that the next two decades will not bring about the further spread of these nuclear weapons? Thats why America is committed to stopping nuclear proliferation, and ultimately seeking a world without nuclear weapons. That is consistent with our commitment under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. That is our responsibility as the worlds two leading nuclear powers. Together, the United States and Russia hold 95 percent of the worlds nuclear weapons. We were the first nations to develop these weapons, and the first to reach agree- ments to limit their testing and restrict the size of our arsenals. Our two nations have a unique responsibility to maintain global strategic stability, and to lead the worlds efforts to stop global nuclear proliferation. Stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and preventing their use has long been a central focus of the world community, but recent developments in Iran and North Korea have given this issue a new urgency. Greater Russian-American cooperation in both arms control and nonproliferation is both possible and essential for our nations to achieve our mutual goals. I believe our experience with Russia on arms control and nonproliferation can serve as a model and lesson about what we and the world can achieve together in the area of global nonproliferation. Renewing the Russian-American Relationship: A Follow-On to START Soon after President Obama took office, he launched a major effort to renew the Russian-American relationship, seeking to move from confrontation and rivalry toward a more cooperative and productive relationship focused on our common interests. At their first meeting in London in April 2009, Presidents Obama and Medvedev identified strategic stability as a priority and agreed that the United States and Russia would pursue new and verifiable reductions in our strategic arsenals, beginning by negotiating a legally binding follow-on to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty....
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This note was uploaded on 01/25/2012 for the course COMM 321 taught by Professor Erinmcclellan during the Spring '11 term at Boise State.
- Spring '11