The US wants to inspect some of the same strategic sites that Kiev previously bombed with American-supplied intelligence and munitions, which no self-respecting state like Russia would ever allow.
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov confirmed during his press conference on Thursday reviewing the past year’s work that his country won’t resume arms control talks with the US till the Ukrainian Conflict ends. This is because the US wants to inspect some of the same strategic sites that Kiev previously bombed with American-supplied intelligence and munitions. No self-respecting state would ever allow that, which is yet another reason for the US to seriously consider ending this conflict sometime soon.
If it continues raging, then valuable time will be lost on renegotiating a new comprehensive arms pact to replace the New START whose extension will expire in February 2026, which will further destabilize the already chaotic global systemic transition to multipolarity. While some in the US might cynically hope for that to happen, this outcome would go against their objective national interests by creating more uncertainty along the European front of the New Cold War.
Washington wants to “Pivot (back) to Asia” in order to more muscularly contain China despite the latest thaw in those two’s ties since November, which necessitates redeploying some of the forces that it sent to Europe over the past two years to Northeast and Southeast Asia. To that end, the US is helping Germany rebuild “Fortress Europe” in order for Berlin to take the lead in containing Russia on Washington’s behalf and thus free up American forces for their redeployment to that other theater.
While a small number of strategic assets could easily remain in Europe without obstructing the US’ “Pivot (back) to Asia”, that might not completely reassure the public, which has been preconditioned to hysterically fear a so-called “Russian invasion” unless some mutual compromise is reached. For as chaotic as everything has been since February 2022, a modicum of order still exists on the continent so long as the previously extended New START remains in effect.
Should it expire without another extension or a new comprehensive arms pact, then uncertainty could spiral and the public might disapprove of America redeploying some of its European assets to Asia like the Pentagon is planning, especially since the optics would suggest weakness in the face of Russia. That’s unacceptable to policy planners, which is why they have a reason to bring this proxy war to a close by early 2025 at the latest in order to have a full year’s worth of time to negotiate arms control with Russia.
For as rational as this sounds, reality oftentimes results in irrational decisions for a variety of reasons, so it can’t be taken for granted that the aforementioned sequence of events will unfold. Despite their country’s objective national interests being advanced by ending the Ukrainian Conflict and resuming arms control talks with Russia as part of a larger deal for reforming the European security architecture, it might ultimately fail to happen, in which case the world will become an even more dangerous place.