With constant moves, Russia and the United States have launched a “psychological warfare” before the summit?
On May 27, local time, the United States formally confirmed to Russia that the Biden administration decided not to rejoin the Open Skies Treaty.
Does Biden’s “position determine his mind”?
When President Trump announced his withdrawal the same year ago, the United States once again dumped the pot to Russia.
On the same day, the U.S. State Department spokesperson stated that Russia’s recent actions against Ukraine show that it is not a partner dedicated to building trust, and considering that Russia cannot take any action to restore its compliance, the United States has no intention of returning to the Open Skies Treaty.
The “Open Skies Treaty” entered into force in 2002 and has 34 contracting states, including the United States, Russia, and most of the NATO member states. The treaty stipulates that state parties can conduct an unarmed aerial survey on each other’s territories by the regulations. While enhancing military mutual trust and transparency reduces the risk of conflict and reduces misjudgments.
During the election campaign last year, Biden stated that the “Open Skies Treaty” beneficiaries are the United States and its allies and satirized Trump’s short-sightedness.
In the opinion of special commentator Du Wenlong, the reason why Biden’s decision is inconsistent with words and deeds is that “position determines ideas.” At that time, Biden was just one of the candidates for the presidential election, and his ideas and Trump would show a complete inconsistency. But now that Biden has become the President of the United States, it is necessary to consider the national interests of the United States. Then, competition between major powers and the all-around strategic threat to Russia has become the core options. Therefore, the current “no return” to the “Open Skies Treaty” reflects a fundamental attitude of the President of the United States in making decisions on behalf of the country.
And as the “Open Skies Treaty” became a dead letter, there were no winners between Russia and the United States, all losers, and the two sides also lost mutual trust. In Du Wenlong’s view, the more prominent victims may be the European NATO countries. Because for Russia and the United States, both sides’ target deployment and abnormal actions can be obtained through other “eyes”. Some relatively small NATO countries cannot use their capabilities to get essential strategies on Russia’s land. Target, then, after the “Open Skies Treaty” expires, its access to information will be relatively exhausted and become the biggest victim.
Does the United States intend to “kill two birds with one stone”?
In response to the U.S.’s accusations, on the 28th, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that he was expected to be disappointed. He also emphasized that the White House has lost the opportunity to contribute to European security.
After the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the contract, Russia also started the withdrawal procedure this year. On May 11, the Russian State Duma passed the bill submitted by Putin to abolish the treaty. At the beginning of next month, the Russian Federation Council will make final deliberation on the nose.
It is worth noting that the time when the United States decided not to return to the “treaty” was on the eve of the summit of the two heads of state, and during the meeting, the issue of arms control will be the focus of discussion between the two heads of state.
Du Wenlong believes that the United States did not return to the sky treaty this time, and it will not have much impact on the negotiations between the two parties. At present, the two sides are back to the original point 1:1, indicating that future strategic competition will still become the norm. At present, the only “New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty” between Russia and the United States that can restrict strategic capabilities has been extended. After the two heads of state meet, they may start talks around reducing conflicts and seeking strategic cooperation in certain aspects.
What is worthy of vigilance is that the United States may be making a bigger chess game by softening Russia to form a so-called “alliance” or “quasi-alliance” relationship, and it is in another position in the competition between major powers. It can also produce a certain degree of deterrence for the core and number one goals of the United States.
On the issue of withdrawal, the United States does not give Russia face, and Russia is naturally not polite to the survey of the U.S. military. According to the U.S. Naval Research Institute report, a Russian naval reconnaissance ship has been wandering in the waters near Hawaii for the past few days.
The “Karelia” is an electronic surveillance ship of the Russian Navy specializing in interception and deciphering of signals and intelligence. Since last Friday, it has approached the coast of Hawaii and was once close to 13 nautical miles of water near Kauai in Hawaii. Khao Yai is an important missile test site and airport for the U.S. military in the Pacific, and it has conducted many missile tests.
In Du Wenlong’s view, Russia is “returning its own body” to the so-called “free navigation” carried out by the United States around Russia, and approaching it through efficient electronic reconnaissance ships is itself an intelligence deterrent. . This will also have a subtle impact on the development of US-Russian relations in the future. The strategic game between the two sides’ needle-points against Maimang may continue for a long time.