3/10/2023 - Politics and Society

New era of nuclear uncertainty

By Jeronimo Castro

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Imagen de portada

The conflict in Ukraine and the new global power distribution

In recent months, the world is constantly changing in the international scene.

Armed conflicts, rising powers, countries in crisis both politically and

economic, new demands and social movements, however, what counts lately

The scene is the rise in the conflict in Ukraine. So verbally

as armamentistic the confrontation is constantly escalating, which leads to

that both Russia and the US, and allies, take drastic positions. That gives way to one

change in the global paradigm on understanding of power relations in the world,

where the western bloc after cold war is not the only hegemon of power, but now

The growing countries or declining powers seek to challenge this position.

A very clear action related to the previously mentioned was the speech

Tuesday, February 21, on the eve of a year of the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, by

Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin. The same made direct allusion to

NATO behavior and US hypocrisy. However, what stood out most

between his words was the announcement on the suspension of Russia's participation in the treaty

New Start or Start III.

This treaty itself stood out for the reduction and control of nuclear weapons between the US and

Russia. The same was signed on 8 April 2010, entering activity in early 2011

having a ten-year term, but was renewed in 2021 until 2026. This agreement arises

following the Strategic Offensives Treaty (SORT).

English). With the new Start, both countries completed the Cold War period and

have exceeded a number of differences that could not be resolved in past agreements. This

new treaty commits to limit in 1550 nuclear warheads in the arsenal of each of the

parts, which supposed to reduce the atomic arsenal in two-thirds of the existing. The new limit

tax establishes a 30% reduction of the ojivas lists for use in relation to SORT

signed in 2002.

It is important to recognize that for Russia this war is not smaller, but rather a conflict

existential that must win, regardless of the time to take or how far to arrive. This

posture is understandable after analysis of power behavior, based on theory

realistic in international relations. Putin seeks above all the survival of his state,

which was threatened by the expansion of NATO in Eastern European countries, and the detonant was

The attempt to join Ukraine in the western bloc. At the same time there is a nationalist feeling

very strong in the former USSR country, accompanied by the realism and characteristics of its leader, who

led to the empowerment of more radical sectors that drown and do not give way to more voices


However, the Russian Mandate highlighted that “Russia does not abandon, freeze temporarily” its

participation in the pact. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs echoed these and

guarantees that the restrictions on established weapons will be met, but will not be part

of the US requirement to oversee their nuclear arsenals.

In his speech Putin not only presented the suspension of the agreement, he also said that the

objective of the confrontation in Ukraine goes beyond the Donbas region, affirming at the same

time that “Russia defends its home”. In turn, he added: “The more means delivered

The West to Kiev in the long run, will more force Russia to remove the threat by itself”,

explicit that the escalation of conflict is due to the contributions of allies

Westerners to Ukraine and the double speech they hold, giving a message they seek

peace being themselves that feed more and more the confrontation.

After the announcement of the suspension of Russia's participation in the treaty, it is considered that

the last pillar of the security system built only between the two

powers around their arsenals, therefore, no existing agreement exists between Russia and

USA, and its western allies, which limit or control them in their development and

nuclear exercise.

Different voices of Western leaders have become present recognizing how

“unresponsible” the Moscow decision, and that the leader of the nation should reconsider his

decision because “less weapons control makes the world more dangerous.” Add to this, Joe

Biden on the same day assured that “Ukraine will never be victory for Russia” in his speech in


After that in the speeches and messages mentioned, it is interpreted in a way that the

The conflict in Eastern Europe is on an escalation of weapons. The same started

with sending ammunition, artillery and tanks, and so far no such limit is known since with

the “freezing” of the treaty occurred the end of control of the nuclear race between the

powers. So we are in a constantly changing scenario and that

It presents all a paradigm shift in the international scene.

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jeronimo castro

Jeronimo Castro

Hi, I'm Jerome, advisor and part of the strategic information management team at the Cabinet Chief of Ministers of the national government.
At the same time I am also a student, starting a master's degree in applied economy and graduated in International Studies, at Torcuato Di Tella University.

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