Related articles


Some time ago the U.S. administration, including their former President Barack Obama, has voiced more and more often the idea that it would be desirable to continue strategic offensive reductions. There are several reasons why the United States are so interested in intensifying nuclear arms reduct...


Modernization of nuclear arsenals is inevitable. Does this mean that strategic stability status quo is endangered by technological advancement of existing arsenals? It depends both on the understanding of strategic stability and strategies of modernizing weapons. The analysis of Russian and US exa...

Lessons of Reykjavik 30 years after

27.10.2016

REYKJAVIK. 27 OCTOBER 2016. PIR PRESS - "Participants of the meeting noted the Iceland’s intention to use a historical event - the 30th anniversary of the meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev – as a signal that Iceland is ready to facilitate the resumption of the dialogue between the West and Russia on the issues related to European security, arms control and other areas where it is possible to find a common ground", - Dr. Vladimir A. Orlov, Head of the Center for Global Trends and International Organizations, Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Special Advisor to PIR Center.

On October 10-11, 2016, Reykjavik (Iceland) hosted an international conference dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the historic meeting in the capital of Iceland between the leader of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev and the US President Ronald Reagan. The main topic of discussion was the US – Russia relations and dialogue in the field of arms control, their current status and opportunities for future cooperation. The issues of arms control in the context of European and global security, missile defense, relations between Russia and NATO and the situation in Ukraine and Syria were discussed as well. Dr. Vladimir Orlov, Head of the Center for Global Trends and International Organizations, Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Special Advisor to PIR Center addressed the conference on the issue of the prospects of US-Russia relations.

The participants of the conference included Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, former President of Iceland, Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Iceland. The conference was addressed through a video conference by Mikhail Gorbachev, the Former General Secretary of the CPSU and Former President of the Soviet Union and George Shultz, Former US Secretary of State under Raegan. The discussions ware attended also by Thomas M. Countryman, Assistant Secretary of State of the US, Des Browne, Former British Defense Minister, Lamberto Zannier, Secretary General of the OSCE, Jayantha Dhanapala, President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, Anton Vasiliev, Russian Ambassador to Iceland, as well as the participants of the events of 30 years ago - Alexey Obukhov, Jack Matlock Jr, Pavel Palazhchenko and others.

Mikhail Gorbachev, in his address to the participants of the conference noted that despite the New START Treaty, signed in 2010, "We have to recognize that the process of nuclear disarmament has slowed down." "I am concerned and alarmed by the current situation. Right before our eyes, “the window to a nuclear weapon-free world” opened in Reykjavik is being shut and sealed."- Gorbachev said.

Former President of the Soviet Union noted: “New, more powerful types of nuclear weapons are being created. Their qualitative characteristics are being ramped up. Missile defense systems are being deployed. Prompt non-nuclear strike systems are being developed, comparable in their deadly impact to the weapons of mass destruction. The military doctrines of nuclear powers have changed for the worse, expanding the limits of “acceptable” use of nuclear weapons. It is mostly due to this that the risk of nuclear proliferation has increased. But the worst thing that has happened in recent years is the collapse of trust in relations between major powers which according to the United Nations Charter bear the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security and which still possess vast stockpiles of nuclear weapons."

According to him, "a nuclear weapon-free world is not a utopia, but an imperative necessity." Recalling that there is always a possibility of use of nuclear weapons “as a result either of accident or technical failure, or of evil intent of man – an insane person or terrorist,” Mikhail Gorbachev concluded, “We must therefore reaffirm the goal of prohibiting and eliminating nuclear weapons. Let me reiterate: this can only be achieved if international politics and international relations are demilitarized."

In his interview to TASS News Agency Vladimir Orlov said: "We talked about the danger that certain conventional weapons are becoming strategic in nature, and in this regard, they also need to be addressed along with the issues of nuclear weapons. We talked about the importance of the new START treaty. All participants, both Russian and American, have agreed that the treaty meets their interests, and there are no contraindications for its further execution."


During the discussions, the parties were able to identify some common ground between Russia and the US, however, fundamental differences on the matters relating to strategic stability were manifested. According to Vladimir Orlov, western partners "are not ready to understand the seriousness of Russian concern on missile defense, and some still believe that it is Russia who behaved incorrectly in Ukraine, which prevents the resumption of the dialogue on European security."

In this respect, the speech by Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, President of Iceland, drew the attention. Vladimir Orlov shared his impressions: "Participants of the meeting noted the Iceland’s intention to use a historical event - the 30th anniversary of the meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev – as a signal that Iceland is ready to facilitate the resumption of the dialogue between the West and Russia on the issues related to European security, arms control and other areas where it is possible to find a common ground".

Vladimir Orlov also highlighted the words of Ólafur Grímsson, Former President of Iceland according to whom the lesson of Reykjavik is that the work on building the security is possible only in cooperation with Russia, rather than excluding and lecturing it.

For questions, regarding the PIR Center program "Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation", please contact the Program Director, Andrey Baklitskiy, by phone +7 (495) 987 19 15 or e-mail baklitsky@pircenter.org.  

Comments

 
 
loading