Assigning responsibility for the current phase of nuclear rearmament to the United States or Russia is a pointless exercise in chickenor-egg thinking. The issue clearly harks back to the outcome of the Cold War and the dissolution of the goodwill behind the 2002 meeting in Italy between George W Bush, Jacques Chirac and Vladimir Putin. At that time, organic cooperation between the victorious West and a Russia struggling to recover its national identity seemed possible. 

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