Gorbachev Takes Stock of New START
Posted on Dec 29, 2010
He knows a thing or two about the nuances of U.S.-Russian relations, not to mention nuclear disarmament, and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev flexed his knowledge in a New York Times op-ed piece about the New START treaty this week, praising the Senate for pushing the legislation through before the holidays and laying out some challenges that lie ahead for those in earnest pursuit of a nuke-free world. —KA
Mikhail Gorbachev in The New York Times:
JUST a few weeks ago, the fate of the New Start nuclear arms treaty seemed to hang by a thread. But since last week, when the United States Senate ratified the treaty, which reduces the size of the American and Russian nuclear stockpiles, we can speak of a serious step forward for both countries. I hope this will energize efforts to take the next step to a world free of nuclear weapons: a ban on all nuclear testing.
In the final stretch, President Obama put his credibility and political capital on the line to achieve ratification. That a sufficient number of Republican senators put the interests of their nation’s security, and the world’s, above party politics is encouraging.
The success was not without cost. In return for the treaty’s ratification, Mr. Obama promised to allocate tens of billions of dollars in the next few years for modernizing the American nuclear weapons arsenal, which is hardly compatible with a nuclear-free world.
AP / Dmitry Lovetsky
Mikhail Gorbachev speaks at the 2007 unveiling ceremony of the Raisa Gorbachev Institute of Pediatric Hematology and Transplantology in St. Petersburg, Russia. The bas-relief depicts his wife, Raisa, who died in 1999.