For Immediate Release: November 8, 2001
(Washington, D.C.) President George W. Bush is scheduled to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin from November 13-15 to discuss missiles defenses, the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, and strategic nuclear cuts.
Expectations are growing that Bush and Putin will agree to permit additional U.S. missile defense testing that is currently ruled out by the ABM Treaty without a unilateral U.S. withdrawal from the accord-an action which Russia opposes. As further inducement for Russia to accept U.S. missile defense testing plans, Bush is expected to follow through on planned unilateral reductions in the deployed U.S. strategic arsenal. Putin has long-called for U.S. and Russian reductions down to 1,500 deployed strategic warheads apiece, but Bush has not yet revealed U.S. plans. Just months ago, the popular assumption was that the Bush administration would unilaterally withdraw from the ABM Treaty, but now it appears that Bush may be seeking a deal rather than acting unilaterally in order to keep Russia as a partner in the international coalition against terrorism.
Yet a deal is not certain. Russian officials have recently downplayed expectations for an agreement, contending too many issues remain unresolved. On the U.S. side, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice cautioned reporters November 1 against "expecting any particular deal at any particular time."
The following Arms Control Association experts are available before and after the summit to comment on the future of U.S.-Russian strategic relations and to analyze the ramifications of an agreement on strategic offenses and defenses:
Lee Feinstein, Visiting Scholar, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Resident Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States; former principal deputy director of the Secretary of State's policy planning staff, phone: (202) 939-2398.
Raymond Garthoff, Senior Fellow (ret.), Brookings Institution; former executive officer on the SALT I delegation, phone: (301) 249-3233 or (202) 797-6035.
Morton Halperin, Senior Fellow, Washington Program of Council on Foreign Relations; former director of the State Department policy planning staff, phone: (202) 518-3406.
Jack Mendelsohn, Vice President, Lawyers Alliance for World Security and Senior Associate, Center for Defense Information; former member of the U.S. delegations to the SALT II and START I negotiations, phone: (202) 745-2450 or (202) 965-4595.
For expert analysis and background information see the ACA resource page at http://www.armscontrol.org/subject/spec/usrussum.asp.
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The Arms Control Association is an independent, non-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies.