The Brookings Institution. April 14, 2014.

Following signature of the New Strategic Arms Treaty (New START) in April 2010, President Obama called for negotiations on further nuclear arms reductions. Last June in Berlin, he proposed a one-third cut in the New START limit on deployed strategic warheads and called for bold reductions in tactical nuclear weapons. Russia to date has shown little enthusiasm for further nuclear reductions, citing concerns about missile defense, conventional Prompt Global Strike, the conventional forces arms control regime in Europe and third-country nuclear forces. Of course, the atmosphere for U.S.-Russian discussions of these issues has become more difficult following Russia’s military occupation of Crimea and increased East-West tensions. [Note: contains copyrighted material]. [Audio format, 01:28:34]

The Brookings Institution. April 10, 2014.

As the Ukraine crisis has developed and fears of a broader Russian military intervention have grown, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Vienna Document on confidence- and security-building measures and the Open Skies Treaty have been used to provide some transparency regarding Russian military activities. [Note: contains copyrighted material]. [HTML format]

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The Heritage Foundation. March 27, 2014.

Russia recently invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea in blatant disregard of Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty. Russia’s willingness to challenge the status quo and its disregard for its arms control obligations have important implications for U.S. nuclear weapons policy. The U.S. can take many steps to improve and strengthen its overall nuclear posture regardless of Russian actions in Ukraine. [Note: contains copyrighted material]. [HTML format]

The White House. Office of the Press Secretary. March 26, 2014.

“So I come here today to insist that we must never take for granted the progress that has been won here in Europe and advanced around the world, because the contest of ideas continues for your generation.  And that’s what’s at stake in Ukraine today.  Russia’s leadership is challenging truths that only a few weeks ago seemed self-evident — that in the 21st century, the borders of Europe cannot be redrawn with force, that international law matters, that people and nations can make their own decisions about their future.” (President Obama) [HTML format]

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Council on Foreign Relations. March 21, 2014.

In a move to punish Russia’s hostile takeover of Crimea, the White House on March 20 announced a second round of sanctions against 20 Russians and a St. Petersburg bank. This builds on asset freezes and visa bans President Obama ordered on March 17 against 11 Russian and Ukraine officials. U.S. officials say the sanctions are meant to force Russia to return Crimea to Ukraine. Privately, however, they probably know that is unlikely to happen; Russia President Vladimir Putin is too heavily invested politically in Crimea’s annexation to be moved by economic punishment. Instead, U.S. sanctions will seek to accomplish less ambitious (but more realistic) goals: For one, such measures could deter Russia from encroaching further into Ukraine. Also, they would signal that land grabs like Crimea come with a price and therefore could discourage foreign capitals considering similar acts of aggression from following Putin’s lead. [Note: contains copyrighted material] [HTML format].

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