Senior Policy Director John Erath spoke with U.S. News & World Report about the Russian suspension of New START.
“What this is, is a message,” says John Erath, a former top National Security Council official for European affairs, now senior policy director for the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. “For the last six months and more, Russia’s strategy has been to seek leverage on the West to end its support to Ukraine and suspend the hostilities on terms favorable to Russia.”
“This is another ingredient in that stew,” he adds. “And like much Russian food, it is lacking in nutritional value.”
Erath suggests that Putin thinks he can trade on the promise of resuming Russia’s obligations to the treaty to convince the U.S. to cease its support for Ukraine’s goals in the war and to acknowledge the Russian army’s gains.
“In that sense, the announcement is a big deal symbolically,” Erath says, adding that Secretary of State Antony Blinken was right to call the statement “unfortunate and irresponsible.” Read more