PIR Center Blog

10.12.2019

The issue of the establishment of a WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East has being discussed for many years. The UN General Assembly following the proposal by Iran and Egypt first endorsed calls for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ) in a Resolution approved in December of 1974. Moreover, from 1991 onwards the IAEA General Conference has also adopted annually without objections a resolution calling for the application of full scope safeguards on all nuclear facilities in the region “as a necessary step for the establishment of the NWFZ.”

03.12.2019

The debate on strategic stability and its prospects has been gaining momentum within the Russian academic and expert communities for the last couple of years, which is not surprising given the fact that the whole of the international security architecture is under extensive pressure. Traditional arms control treaties previously regarded as a critical instrument of ensuring strategic stability are on the verge of collapse. The system is under double blow. First, rapid technological progress blurs the distinction line between nuclear and conventional weapons, thus increasing the risk of escalation. Secondly, the global security landscape is becoming increasingly multilateral, thus making the traditional bilateral track less relevant – at least, for the United States.

21.11.2019

In preparation for the 2020 NPT Review Conference, one inevitably has to face a question: how to reinvigorate the review process, taking into account both the 1995 decision on strengthening of the review process and a quarter-century experience in between 1995 and now. 

18.11.2019

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference kicks off in less than 6 months’ time. Both Russia and the United States are on the final stretch of their respective preparations for that key international security event. Our two countries bear special responsibility. First, the Treaty designates them (and the United Kingdom) as the NPT depositary states; they are the guardians of the Treaty’s letter, so to speak. Second – and most important – between the two of them, Russia and the United States control over 92 per cent of the world’s nuclear weapons, thereby retaining their status as nuclear superpowers. Of course, the world has changed since the NPT entered into force back in 1970. Some superpowers have collapsed, only to be succeeded by others... but in nuclear matters, the bipolar world order has not changed much since the Cold War. In an era of dangerous erosion of international norms, the NPT remains the cornerstone of the global security architecture. Are Russia and the United States ready to work responsibly and cooperatively for the sustainability of the Treaty?

06.03.2019

The OSCE Ministerial Council held in Milan, Italy, on 6-7 December had not promised any breakthroughs in the politico-military dimension and its outcomes were predictably modest. The only document related to this domain (or, in traditional terms, to the “first basket”) that was adopted was the Declaration on OSCE Efforts in the Field of Norms and Best Practices on Small Arms and Light Weapons and Stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition. Apparently, this subject is uncontroversial enough to be the common denominator for the 57 OSCE participating states.

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