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Biden could offer Russia to extend New START for 5 years without preconditions: Expert

ITAR-TASS 01: KRASNODAR REGION, RUSSIA. APRIL 8, 2009. An officer seen at a control center of the next generation Voronezh-DM radar station, a missile warning system. (Photo ITAR-TASS / Igor Zhuravlev). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

VIENNA, Nov 10, 2020, TASS. If Joe Biden is elected US President, he could very quickly offer Russia to extend New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) for five years without any preconditions, Professor of International Relations at the University of Innsbruck and expert on arms control, Russian and US foreign policy Gerhard Mangott told TASS.

Speaking on Biden’s position on international agreements, Mangott noted that the Democratic contender was interested in searching for solutions as part of multilateral international formats. For example, the expert did not rule out that at the beginning of his presidential term Biden could declare that the US would rejoin the Paris climate deal and then backtrack on the decision to withdraw from the World Health Organization.

“Probably, Biden will very quickly offer the Russian government to extend New START for five years without preconditions, unlike Trump,” Mangott said.

According to the expert, under the new president Washington would probably look for the ways of returning to participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program but it’s highly unlikely that the US would rejoin this deal or cancel sanctions against Iran. “I think Biden will try to agree with the Europeans on a broader agreement with Iran, so he will continue Trump’s line. But I don’t think that under Biden the US will just return to the JCPOA,” he noted.

Biden’s policy on Russia

Speaking on Russian-US relations, Mangott said under Biden the US foreign policy on Russia could be tougher than under Trump due to Democrats’ general stance. The only exception could be arms control, namely extending New START. “I believe that Biden, like Trump, based on non-partisan consensus in the US will keep doing his utmost to hinder the Nord Stream 2 construction’s completion,” he said.

Washington will also try to start a discussion on the alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, the conflict in eastern Ukraine or in Syria due to differences in approaches to supporting President Bashar Assad, the expert said.

Biden’s Ukraine policy will be more aggressive than that of Trump due plans on supplying lethal arms in the future. “The US could also launch a new negotiating format with Ukraine, which differs from the Normandy format [Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine], to make sure it is engaged in the talks. The US also seeks to become a party to the talks [on settling the crisis in Ukraine],” Mangott said.

US and EU

According to the professor, the EU and NATO’s expectations from Biden’s presidency were inflated. He expects that Biden will send a signal to the EU and NATO that the Europeans will be able to ensure European security without the US and iron out European crises and that’s why he will insist on boosting NATO’s defense spending.

“He is committed to traditional relations between the EU, NATO and the US, but he has a clear list of demands that they do more for their own security,” Mangott said. The political scientist explained that Biden seeks to invest more forces and resources to deal with the problem of China’s rise.

Though the vote count is still underway, major US media outlets project that the Democratic contender has presumptively won the presidential election. Both Fox News and Associated Press have put Biden over the top, beyond the needed 270 vote threshold. Donald Trump is challenging the current outcome, claiming irregularities in the ballot processing in key swing states, and has filed lawsuits to fight his case in court.

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