MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 17th June, 2021) The joint statement on strategic stability agreed on by Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden at the Geneva summit was predictable and intended to resemble the one made by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan statement in 1985, Nikolai Sokov, a senior fellow at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation, told Sputnik.
"The contents of the statement were predictable and represent the maximum the two presidents could feasibly achieve at this summit. The statement was obviously intended to repeat the Gorbachev-Reagan statement from their Geneva summit in 1985," he said, noting that there could have been an underlying intent to emphasize the similarity between the two summits, as both were held in a period of "high tension" and in the same location.
Sokov stressed that, in practical terms, the statement was predictable and that it can be expected that the US and Russia will begin consultations on strategic stability. Though, he added, it is still too early to announce negotiations as there are fundamental differences on the scope of the future agreement.
According to the expert, Moscow insists on the "strategic stability equation," which would include nuclear weapons, long-range conventional weapons, missile defense, and a range of other issues. The US stand, for now, remains undefined, though the new administration might be open to a broader approach, he said.
Sokov further stated that the consultations are likely to begin soon, "probably only a few weeks from now," as both Moscow and Washington showed eagerness to move forward with the issue before the New START extension expires in five years.
Earlier on Wednesday, Putin and Biden signed a joint Russian-US statement on strategic stability, where they pledged to "lay the groundwork for future arms control and risk reduction measures" through bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue and reaffirmed the principle that "a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought."