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The Russian Relationship

Posted October 6th, 2016 at 2:14 pm (UTC-5)
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Relations between the United States and Russia have reached another low point as Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday Moscow was pulling out of a nuclear security treaty, and then issued a list of conditions in which he would reconsider.

The deal, which dates back to the year 2000, involves the disposal of plutonium stockpiles, which can be used for nuclear weapons. It could signal Russia’s intent to withdraw from other nuclear weapons treaties with the U.S.

On the surface, the conditions on which Russia would reconsider appear unpalatable: lifting economic sanctions related to Russia’s incursion into Ukraine; compensation for those sanctions; reducing NATO’s footprint in Eastern Europe.

The U.S. announced Monday it is shutting off talks with Russia over Syria because of violations of the ceasefire, including suspected Russian bombing of an aid convoy last week. Some fear the U.S. pullback from talks will give Russia a free hand to execute its military plans in Syria. Others say it may leave Russia with no exit strategy.

No matter how this plays out, finding a solution will most likely be left to the next president of the United States.