Amid Souring Relations, Russia Pulls out of Nuclear Treaty

During the past few weeks and months, there have been some worrying rumblings among the world’s superpowers. We’ve witnessed a serious degradation of relations between Russia and the USA, while China is slowly but surely pursuing its own agenda.

Part of a process of rebalancing itself in the planetary power-play, Russia has recently been involved in military exercises^ together with China. This sends a clear message that the Eurasian superpowers are waking up to the fact that they share more points in common than just the massive landmass they occupy. These military drills were held in the contested waters of the South China Sea. There, the USA has been involved in arbitration between other claimant nation-states. But the balance is quickly shifting^, even as Philippines’ human rights violator^ and political wildcard Rodrigo Duterte cares little about the meddling of far-away USA^ in regional matters.

Last week, Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan held a joint press conference announcing a revival in economic collaboration^. Turkey has the second largest army in NATO. Rarely have I seen so much rebalancing of powers in the space of just a few months.

From its side, the USA is launching all sorts of diplomatic efforts in an attempt to contain Russia. The first step was to halt collaboration on Syria^ (as marginal and ineffective as it was). Next, the US together with its close allies^ threatened to drag Russia to an international court for war crimes^ (as if Americans hadn’t blown up hospitals and ruined enough countries in the past).

What should worry us most though, is the stench of atomic war that started to make itself felt. A few weeks ago Russia pulled out of an important agreement aimed at lowering the nuclear weapons stockpile of the two superpowers:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/04/world/europe/russia-plutonium-nuclear-treaty.html?_r=0

It may be tempting to condemn Russia as a warmonger, but actually, at least one of its motivations for quitting the agreement is quite reasonable. The USA hasn’t kept its end of the bargain. Instead of totally disposing of its plutonium by using it in power plants, the US is considering stashing it at a nuclear waste disposal location. Granted, the Americans have helped Russia get rid of quite a bit of plutonium through the years. So, as always, the situation isn’t black or white but rather a gloomy shade of gray.

This is not the first time^ in recent memory when Russia has brought its nuclear arsenal into the spotlight. However, it’s quite repugnant that they stooped so low as to allow TV anchors^ to spew crude nuclear propaganda into the minds of their viewers; that’s the sort of antics one would expect from North Korea. Sadly, I feel like Russia might have been pushed in this direction by what it perceives as continued advances into its sphere of influence by NATO^.

Here’s another enlightening synthesis regarding Russian-American relations:

http://www.businessinsider.com/us-russia-relations-trump-syria-2016-10?r=US&IR=T&IR=T^

All in all, what’s happening is quite sad. You’d expect more from the 21st century than superpowers squabbling over petty differences while covertly (or not) fueling the destruction of Syria and many other developing countries (Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and the list can go on). Insatiable greed is a sign that a species hasn’t yet made peace with the barbaric traits of its survival instinct.

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