Russia

Russia Undermining 20 Years of Nuclear Cooperation With U.S.

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The U.S.'s relationship with Russia is about to get even more tense. The latter nation announced that it's going to curtail nuclear cooperation with America, backtracking on the last two decades of security work.

The New York Times sheds some light:

The message delivered by [Sergey Kirienko, the head of Russia's state nuclear company] is the first time that the rising tensions between the Kremlin and the Obama administration have threatened to disrupt some of the practical efforts that the two sides initiated at the end of the Cold War to help Russia safeguard its nuclear materials.

"There is a real danger that 20 years of U.S.-Russian cooperation to secure nuclear material will simply stop at the end of this year, and some of the gains we have made could slip away," said Matthew Bunn, a Harvard professor who, during the administration of Bill Clinton, supervised a classified government study on protecting nuclear materials in Russia.

A senior Obama administration official said the United States still planned to work with the Russians on nuclear security efforts in third countries and hoped to persuade the Russian government to continue cooperation in Russia. …

"Nuclear security in Russia has improved dramatically since the years immediately following the collapse of the Soviet Union," the Belfer Center at Harvard concluded in a March report. "Unfortunately, sophisticated conspiracies to steal valuable items continue to plague Russia."

Last week Russia announced that it would boycott the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, which will be hosted by the Obama administration.

Russian relations with the West have become tense on another nuclear front. Nuclear-capable bomber drills over Europe without "active transponders—which would allow civilian air traffic controllers to see them. The situation could lead to a serious accident where an airliner might collide with a Russian bomber," explains The Daily Beast. Likewise, Russia just announced that it's going to conduct long-range bomber patrols over the Gulf of Mexico. Earlier this year, a Russian propaganda director announced that his country could "turn the U.S. into radioactive ashes" if it wanted.

Both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry met with their Kremlin counterparts last weekend to try to find common ground on Russia's war in Ukraine. Little if any progress was made. Obama will have another unofficial meeting with Vladimir Putin this weekend at the Brisbane G20 summit.

Russian troops have been crossing Ukraine's border in larger numbers since last week, and Andrei Illarionov, Putin's former economic adviser who now works at the Cato Institute, predicts that Russia will launch a larger-scale invasion within two weeks. 

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17 responses to “Russia Undermining 20 Years of Nuclear Cooperation With U.S.

  1. Brrrr, it’s getting cold in here.

    Hey Putin, u MAD bro?

  2. Russia Undermining 20 Years of Nuclear Cooperation With U.S.

    It’s not like the Russians are feeling threatened by NATO expansionism or some crazy shit like that, right?

    1. Having lived in a country bordering the Soviet Union (and with a history of wars with the Russians), I can tell you that to the Poles and Estonians, Nato isn’t expantionary; it’s a way of protecting themselves against the Russians. And for all the romanticism about Russia – it’s a society that is still largely in the dark ages and prone to some very violent shit especially when dealing with non-Russians….

      1. Re: tarran,

        Having lived in a country bordering the Soviet Union (and with a history of wars with the Russians), I can tell you that to the Poles and Estonians, Nato isn’t expantionary

        You’re forgetting NATO’s diplomatic forays in Georgia and Ukraine.

        I harbor no love for Russia’s government, but I am not going to suddenly frame this issue within a simplistic Cowboys and Indians dichotomy, especially when NATO is a bureaucracy looking to justify itself and expand its budget just like any other bureaucracy.

        1. Oh no! Not DIPLOMATIC FORAYS!!1

        2. especially when NATO is a bureaucracy looking to justify itself and expand its budget just like any other bureaucracy.

          I agree with your characterization of Nato. Nevertheless, Nato isn’t just muscling into countries where the population doesn’t want to be protected by the Russians. Having Estonian relatives by marriage, and having lived in Turkey, I can assure you that the guys living in Russia’s sphere of influence fear the russians have a very reasonable, historically justified and strong fear of Russia deciding to conquer them again.

          1. protected by the Russians

            Fuck! I meant protected from the Russians!

    2. It’s not like their feelings matter or justify anything no. It’s not like fears of NATO ‘expansionism’ have driven previous bouts of Russian conquest.

  3. That’s cause the Russians are also a bunch of chickenshits.

  4. If only there was a reset button we could push.

    1. Obama promised a reset, didn’t he?

      1. He didn’t mention that it was a reset… to 1963…

  5. Both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry met with their Kremlin counterparts last weekend to try to find common ground on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Little if any progress was made.

    Barry and Johnny: “Don’t invade Ukraine, or we’ll pout harder.”
    Vlad: “Nyet, is no invasion, troops just look for lost dog. None of US’s business anyway.”

    1. Real leader: “Invade Ukraine all you want. Nobody in the U.S. cares. It’s up to Ukraine and other Russian border states to kick your ass out, not the U.S.”

  6. I’m not sure if Putin thinks he has something to gain with this or of he just enjoys see Kerry and Obama make sad faces.

    Now it’s really time to restart the missile defense program. The one we halted because the Russians were so nice and peaceful.

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