US-Russia initiate talks on space security and nuclear arms control

Vienna: Against the background of the aggressive Chinese activities in various sectors, the United States has initiated discussions with Russia on the issues of space security and nuclear weapons. These talks being held in the city of Vienna, in Europe, will last for four days, and senior officials from the foreign, defence and nuclear safety departments of both the countries will be participating in the talks. A few days ago, the United States had levelled a severe allegation against Russia of testing an anti-satellite missile. Russia, at that time, had claimed that it was not keen on signing a new treaty, about nuclear weapons, with the United States. Against this background, the initiation of these talks becomes essential. The United States had taken the step to withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) signed with Russia. The United States had accused Russia of developing missiles by violating the provisions of the treaty. Russia had dismissed the US allegations and had announced that it was prepared even for the new version of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). Following this, the United States raised the issue regarding Chinese nuclear weapons and insisted that China should be a part of the new START. China refused to be a part of the START, in clear words. As per the New START Treaty, signed in 2010, between the United States and Russia, both the countries should restrict the number of nuclear weapons to 1550.

US-space-russia

Along with the weapons race, increasing competition in space between the United States and Russia is becoming a point of dispute. The United States is consistently accusing China and Russia of developing lethal weapons for a war in space. Only last week, the United States and the United Kingdom accused Russia of testing an anti-satellite missile. Both these countries also alleged that the Russian test, conducted on the 15th of July, was kept secret from the International community. They also criticised that with this test, Russia poses a threat to the space interests of the United States, United Kingdom and their allies. The United States claimed that this Russian test violates international regulations.

Following these severe allegations levelled by the United States against Russia, Presidents of both the countries had a telephonic conversation. Both the countries informed that military stability, bans on weapons, Iran, Coronavirus pandemic and many other issues were discussed during the talks. This is the second discussion between President Trump and President Putin in the last two months. Taking this background into account, the talks initiated between the United States and Russian officials at Vienna, attract attention. Connected sources informed that the first day of the meeting had been entirely reserved for discussing space security and the issues regarding the next stage of the New START Treaty will be discussed in the next three days. US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, indicated that these talks would be vital for the interests of the United States as well as Russia.

Some former, as well as serving officials, are suggesting that the United States should make efforts to create a rift between Russia and China to corner China. These officials claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping do not share a close relationship anymore. Russia started building relations with China only after the United States and its western allies imposed sanctions against Russia in 2014. These relations between Russia and China are developing with big agreements in the defence and fuel sectors and cooperation in economic, investments and space sectors. But, disputes over espionage incidences, technology duplication and many other issues keep surfacing between these countries. Opposition to the United States is the standard policy for both these countries, and the US officials are claiming that efforts to improve relations between the United States and Russia will deliver a major blow to China.

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