Staunton, July 17 – The approaching end of the arms control agreements reached between Washington and Moscow and American plans to include Beijing in talks about replacing the current arrangements with an all-embracing arms control accord is viewed in Moscow as demeaning to Russia, Aleksandr Golts says.
In Yezhednevny zhurnal, the independent Moscow military analyst says that for Moscow, the existence of bilateral arms control agreements with the US was psychologically important for the Moscow leadership because these accords gave Russia a special status. By ending that regime, Washington has deprived Moscow of that (ej.ru/?a=note&id=33970).
But the American decision to move in this direction has even more fateful long-term consequences, Golts continues. China is not prepared to enter such talks and so that will mean that Russia almost certainly will have to enter a brave new world in which it will have to engage in a new arms race qualitatively and quantitatively with the United States.
It isn’t ready for that. Not only is its economy much smaller and in worse shape, he points out; its military-industry is in disastrous shape burdened by enormous debts with officials now talking about the needs for billions and billions of rubles just to pay for what supposedly had already been produced and delivered.
Thus, Golts says, “the Russian system of military production has shown itself to be extremely … ineffective in a situation where the real arms race has still not begun in earnest.” That leads to the question: “What then will be the case with the economy of the country when Russia has to compete with the US not only qualitatively but quantitatively as well?”
The treaties which had kept that requirement in check are coming to an end, and Moscow will have no choice but to try to compete. The last time it did so, three decades ago, “a simiar race destroyed a country by the name of the USSR.”