MOSCOW – Russia and the United States have signed a new strategic nuclear-arms reduction treaty (START). Officially, the treaty cuts their weapons by one-third; in fact, each party will decommission only several dozen.
Nevertheless, the treaty is a considerable achievement. It normalizes political relations between the two countries, thereby facilitating their further cooperation and rapprochement.
The return of strategic nuclear weapons to the center of world politics increases Russia’s political weight and highlights the field in which Russia can still assert itself as a superpower. It also gives a political boost to Barack Obama, cast as the most constructive and progressive US president for decades, and possibly for many years to come.
After the treaty was signed, the US hosted a nuclear non-proliferation summit, a landmark event for the Obama administration, which has made the fight against nuclear proliferation a trademark policy. The few accords reached at the summit, although welcome, are not as significant as the impression that the summit created that world leaders are ready to work together to confront nuclear proliferation.