Ready for Dialogue with Russia on Additional Nuclear Reductions

The United States and Russia have made significant progress on implementing the New START agreement and are ready to begin discussing the next round of nuclear reductions, said Rose Gottemoeller, assistant secretary of state for arms control. “We still have much homework to do, [but] we and the Russians can begin talking about some big concepts, important ideas, and the definitions that go with them,” said Gottemoeller last week at US Strategic Command’s 2011 deterrence symposium in Omaha, Neb. She said the United States remains committed to a “step-by-step process to reduce the overall number of nuclear weapons”—strategic, non-strategic, deployed, and non-deployed—and is open to increasing “transparency on a reciprocal basis with Russia.” Although it’s premature to begin negotiating the next treaty, “we are ready for a productive conversation,” Gottemoeller said. It’s also time that the United States begins a “multilateral dialogue” with the other veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council focused on the possibility of “voluntary transparency and confidence-building measures,” she added. (Gottemoeller’s remarks)