The potential to lose a conventional war in Europe is dangerous from both sides` point of view, as it increases the possibility that the United States or Russia, or both, may be tempted to believe that limited nuclear attacks could fend off conventional defeats, which could increase the risk of a strategic nuclear escalation. Hence Russia`s flirtation with the „escalation of de-escalation“ that was reflected in its recent official document on nuclear deterrence.64 On 29 March 1983, the United States proposed an interim agreement whereby NATO would reduce its plan to deploy mehr-piste missiles (LRINF) to between zero and 572 if the Soviets reduced their global use of LRINF missiles to the same level. On 19 May, the US delegation presented a draft treaty that embodies this proposal. The United States and Russia are now approaching a similar turning point in their security relations and in the development of European security. The development and use of new weapons systems – strategic scope, INF coverage, cyber, space, missile defence, artificial intelligence and nuclear and conventional hypersonics – leave the prospect of a new highly dangerous and destabilizing arms race and an increased risk of conflict not only between the United States and Russia, but also with the participation of European countries. It is highly unlikely that the United States and its allies, as well as Russia, will return to a relationship guided by the search for partnership and cooperation. This would be a major abandonment of the long history of competitive relations between Russia and the West. However, there is a strong incentive on both sides to manage their competition and to preserve strategic stability and nuclear deterrence, which are at risk of being heavily re-emerged. This common interest in avoiding the most pessimistic scenarios and managing their competitive relations is the basis on which Russia and the West can act. In June 1992, Presidents George H. W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin agreed to a follow-up agreement with START I.
Start II, signed in January 1993, called for the reduction of strategic arsenals to 3,000-3,500 warheads and banned the use of destabilizing land-based missiles with several warheads.