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来源:天星 更新日期:2009-07-07 点击:

U.S., Russia Set Arms Treaty Goals


U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev reached a framework agreement Monday to cut their strategic nuclear arsenals by as much as a third, but they left open a host of issues vexing U.S.-Russian relations.

The two heads of state had a 'very useful and very open, businesslike conversation' -- as Mr. Medvedev put it -- on issues from Iran to Georgia to missile defense. Still, after a four-hour session, the leaders made it clear Mr. Obama has work to do to smooth over tensions when he delivers what aides call a major speech Tuesday to the Russian people on democracy, open society and the two countries' difficult relationship.

'We've had some frank discussions, and there are some areas where we still disagree,' Mr. Obama said, singling out Georgia, where tensions remain high after last year's war. As the presidents met Monday, Russian troops, tanks and warplanes conducted massive live-fire exercises just across the border from Georgia.

Still, the summit met the U.S. goal of fixing numerical targets for a nuclear arms reduction treaty that negotiators hope to conclude by Dec. 5. That is when the governing Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty expires. Under the agreement, deployed nuclear warheads targeted at each country would be reduced to between 1,500 and 1,675 over seven years from the current ceiling of 2,200. The cut is in line with negotiators' initial targets.

Nuclear weapons delivery systems would be reduced to between 500 and 1,100 from the current ceiling of 1,600. That wide gap reflects continued division over four U.S. Trident submarines, the entire U.S. B-1 bomber fleet and dozens of B-52s that have been either converted to release conventional weapons use or mothballed. The Russians want such 'phantom' nuclear delivery systems counted under the treaty's ceiling, further limiting active U.S. nuclear weapons launchers. Washington wants them ignored.

'Despite the fact that in several hours we cannot remove the burden of all the problems [between the countries], we have agreed that we will go forward without stopping,' Mr. Medvedev said.

At the midpoint of the two-day summit here, both sides could claim some victories and point to some concessions. Although Mr. Medvedev avoided citing Iran by name, White House officials said he was 'very forward leaning' in decrying the threat of an arms race in volatile regions of the world, an 'unambiguous' reference to Iran, said White House Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough. The two sides agreed to conduct a joint threat assessment of ballistic missile capabilities in the world.

Chief arms control negotiator Rose Gottemoeller said the Russians wanted a general statement on arms reduction, not numerical targets. Reaching agreement on numbers, she said, 'was a long and painful process.'

Mr. Obama also won Russian assent to allow overflight rights for military transports carrying 'lethal' war materiel to Afghanistan, a deal that paves the way for 4,500 flights a year and saving the U.S. $133 million a year in fuel and other transport costs. The U.S. and Russia agreed to resume military-to-military cooperation that was suspended since August 2008 in the wake of Russia's war with Georgia.

The Russians received assurance from Mr. Obama that offensive and defensive weapons systems would be considered together as negotiations go forward. That is a key concession on perhaps the biggest sticking point: U.S. plans to deploy missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic over fierce Russian objections. Michael McFaul, senior White House director for Russian affairs, stressed, however, that the administration is not abandoning the 'third site' in Eastern Europe.

More broadly, Mr. Medvedev used the nuclear weapons talks to thrust Russia back onto the world stage and try to assert a return to bipolar international relations. He spoke of cooperation between the two countries as 'important to world development.'







在为期两天的美、俄峰会日程过半之际,双方都可以宣称自己取得了一些胜利,并指出对方做出了一些让步。白宫官员说,虽然梅德韦杰夫没有指名道姓提到伊朗,但他在谴责世界动荡地区军备竞赛带来的威胁方面是“非常直言不讳的”,用白宫副国家安全顾问麦克唐纳(Denis McDonough)的话说,梅德韦杰夫的讲话显然提及了伊朗。两国同意对全球弹道导弹能力联合进行一次威胁评估。

美国首席军控谈判代表罗丝·高特莫勒(Rose Gottemoeller)说,俄罗斯希望达成一份关于武器裁减的一般性声明,而不是制定武器数量目标。她说,就武器数量达成一致是一个漫长而痛苦的过程。

奥巴马还获得了俄罗斯的同意,允许美军运输 经过俄罗斯领空向阿富汗运输“致命性”作战物资,以每年4,500架次为限;这一协议使得美国每年可以节省1.33亿美元的燃料和其他成本。美国和俄罗斯同意恢复两国军方自2008年8月俄罗斯与格鲁吉亚战争后一直中断的合作。

俄罗斯也获得了奥巴马的保证,未来的谈判中将把进攻性和防御性武器系统放在一起考虑。美国在这个可能是双方最大的分歧点上作出了重要让步。此前,尽管俄罗斯表示强烈反对,美国还是计划在波兰和捷克部署导弹防御系统。但白宫的俄罗斯事务高级主管麦克法尔(Michael McFaul)强调,美国政府没有放弃在东欧的“第三地点”。