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American Committee for U.S.-Russia Accord Issues ‘Call For a New Era of Diplomacy’ Open Letter

June 11, 2021 (EIRNS)—The American Committee for U.S.-Russia Accord (ACURA) issued an open letter on June 10 under the headline, “A Call for a New Era of Diplomacy and Engagement between the U.S. and Russia.” Emphasizing the need to start thinking in “new and creative ways toward conciliation,” the letter warns that the “dangerous and in many ways unprecedented deterioration in relations between the United States and the Russian Federation must come to an end if we are to leave a safer world for future generations.” The Trump era and Russiagate witnessed “a willingness to assign blame to Russia for the outcome of the 2016 election” which has now been discredited, the letter asserts, but warns this has now engendered “two much more dangerous phenomena: an escalating militarism reminiscent of the darkest days of the Cold War; and a dangerous erosion of the decades-long bilateral arms control regime negotiated even during the Great Power standoff.”

As these developments “are a threat to global peace, prosperity, even survival,” they “must be addressed.” ACURA warns that cold wars are

“inimical to U.S. national security ... to global peace and prosperity. They empower the military-industrial complex, and the war parties on both sides.” It is unprecedented, the signers argue, that the ambassadors from both countries have been recalled; not even during the dark days of the Cuban Missile Crisis did this occur. As for the June 16 Putin-Biden summit, the letter states that the emphasis on summits in themselves has been too great, and recalls former U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union Jack Matlock’s advice on summits: “Successful ones have to be prepared quietly. Both sides have to want them to succeed.”

To address the current situation, ACURA emphasizes that “we need to start thinking in new and creative ways—in short it is time for a new approach—one that focuses on conciliation.” The letter makes a number of recommendations, to allow the U.S. to get its “own house in order,” but advises that Biden invite Putin to reaffirm the statement that Reagan and Gorbachev made that

“a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.... We believe the time has come to resurrect diplomacy, restore and maintain a dialogue on nuclear risks that’s insulated from our political differences like we did during the Cold War. Without communication, this increases the likelihood of escalation to nuclear use in a moment of crisis.”

The 13 signers of the letter are ACURA board members, among them former Ambassador to the Soviet Union Jack Matlock; former U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations Donald F. McHenry and William J. vanden Heuvel; Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editorial director of The Nation, and Ambassador vanden Heuvel’s daughter; and Cynthia Lazaroff, founder and executive director of NuclearWakeUpCall.Earth.

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