Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has had raised his public profile of late. After last week signing off on a partnership between WikiLeaks and Rossiyskaya Gazeta – the newspaper he partly owns – this week he is opining on the New START Treaty, which was passed by the U.S. Senate last week.
Gorbachev wrote one op-ed piece for the English-speaking press, and a different version for the Russian. Below you will find the translated Russian version, which, unlike the English, discusses concern about the continuing influence of the ‘U.S. nuclear weapons complex,’ suspicions about the sincerity of reducing conventional weapons in Europe, and comments about what a comprehensive nuclear test ban would mean for the future of civilization.
Advising U.S. senators, from Russia’s Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Gorbachev writes in part:
At the final stages, President Obama put his authority and political capital on the line to achieve ratification of the Treaty. And it’s good that sufficient numbers of Republicans were found in the U.S. Senate who put the true interests of their country’s security above narrow party interests.
But the victory came at a price. While pushing for ratification of the Treaty, Barack Obama made significant concessions to the military-industrial complex. The president promised to allocate tens of billions of dollars in the coming years for modernizing the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, which is hardly compatible with a movement toward a world free of nuclear weapons.
A priority that I believe requires a speedy solution is the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. It is absolutely essential to break the impasse that has blocked this important undertaking for over ten years, particularly if we’re concerned about nuclear non-proliferation.
Universal ratification and the entry into force of the treaty banning nuclear testing will be an important step in building a truly global community of nations; a community of shared responsibility for the future of humanity, not only in the security sphere but in all other spheres. And this, as the global economic crisis has demonstrated, is needed now as never before.
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