By Daisy Luther
This is bad, bad, BAD.
Russia has just withdrawn from its agreement to dispose of enough weapons grade plutonium to make 17,000 nuclear warheads.
And…they’re blaming the change of heart on the US.
In a statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United states of creating “a threat to strategic stability, as a result of unfriendly actions towards Russia.”
“For quite a long time, Russia had been implementing it (the agreement) unilaterally,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with journalists on Monday.
“Now, taking into account this tension (in relations) in general … the Russian side considers it impossible for the current state of things to last any longer.” (source)
According to the US State Department, the combined tonnage of plutonium is enough to make around 17,000 nuclear warheads.
From the BBC:
In Monday’s decree, President Putin said Russia had to take “urgent measures to defend the security of the Russian Federation”.
Putin also submitted a bill outlining a series of pre-conditions that the US would have to fulfill in order for the agreement to resume, including these points:
- reduction of US military infrastructure and troops in countries that joined Nato after 1 September 2000
- lifting of all US sanctions against Russia and compensation for the damage they have caused
It gets worse.
Russia is currently modernising its nuclear weapons. This is most definitely not a good thing.
It gets worse if you put it all together: the United States has announced it is suspending all talks with Russia in regard to the Syrian conflict. Last month’s ceasefire collapsed and Washington states that Russia has not lived up to the terms of the ceasefire. President Obama has been prodding Putin with regard to Syria, and Putin has installed soldiers only 50 miles from the US border.
The rhetoric between the two countries is increasing almost daily, but the announcement that Russia has backed out of the deal to re-assign weapons-grade plutonium makes my alarm bells ring loud and strong, especially as they are currently updating their nuclear weaponry.
The sabre-rattling has moved to swords being drawn and the end result will not be good for either American or Russian citizens if Obama and Putin don’t step back from the edge of the precipice they are standing on.
There are enough nukes out there to destroy the world many times over.
The Arms Control Association states that the United States has 7,100 nuclear weapons as of August 2016 and Russia has 7,300. Aside from Russia and the U.S. seven other countries have nuclear warheads in their possession:
- France: 300
- China: 260
- UK: 215
- Pakistan: 120
- India: 110
- Israel: 80
- North Korea: 8
China, India, and Pakistan are all pursuing new ballistic missile, cruise missile, and sea-based nuclear delivery systems. In addition, Pakistan has lowered the threshold for nuclear weapons use by developing tactical nuclear weapons capabilities to counter perceived Indian conventional military threats. North Korea continues its nuclear pursuits in violation of its earlier denuclearization pledges.
It’s obvious that U.S.-Russia relations are at the lowest ebb in years. For all our sakes, I hope that both of these power-hungry madmen step back from the brink – but I don’t think either of them will. I think that if Obama can sell a serious threat of war to the public at large, he will jump at the chance. Because we all know, there’s nothing like a national crisis to suspend the Constitution and put the military on the streets to keep “public order.”
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