Deadlock in the Strategic Reductions Process: A Russian Perspective
At a historic meeting in the Kremlin on January 3, 1993, Presidents George Bush of the United States and Boris Yeltsin of the Russian Federation signed the Treaty on Further Strategic Nuclear Arms Limitations and Reductions (START II), which followed START I, concluded in July 1991. The treaty promised to be the grandest achievement of the negotiated bilateral strategic arms control process between Moscow and Washington. That process, initiated in the early 1970s by US. president Richard Nixon and Soviet general secretary Leonid Brezhnev, had been the centerpiece of US.-Soviet relations for more than twenty years. The importance of strategic reductions to both sides was witnessed by the fact that the process continued despite deep declines in thc bilateral relationship following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, as well as sharp disagreements on the future of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, triggered by President Ronald Reagan's 1983 Strategic Defense Initiative and by instances of Soviet noncompliance with the treaty.