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Former Secretary of Defense William Perry, delivered a lecture on “The Russian-US Relations, Nuclear Threat reduction and Global Security”

08.02.2018

MOSCOW, February 9, 2018. PIR PRESS. “Today they DPRK has a nuclear arsenal. In my judgment, they are not going to give up their nuclear arsenal. Diplomacy is no longer able to solve that problem and that’s the problem we have to deal with today. Therefore, U.S, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea have to being able to contain and deter the arsenal they have. It is not primarily a diplomatic issue, but a military issue. Secondly, we need diplomacy to try to lower that danger”, — William Perry.

On February 5, 2018, Former Secretary of Defense (1994 – 1997) William Perry, delivered a lecture followed by a discussion on “The Russian-US Relations, Nuclear Threat Reduction and Global Security”. The event was attended by students from main universities in Moscow - Diplomatic Academy, Higher School of Economics (HSE) and Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), who interested in Russia-US bilateral relations, nuclear non-proliferation, and the prevention of nuclear terrorism. 

The event was opened by Rector of the Academy E.P.Bazhanov and PIR Center Director A.F. Zulkharneyev. Organized by the Center for Global Trends and International Organizations at the Institute of Contemporary International Studies of the Diplomatic Academy of Russian MFA; in cooperation with PIR Center and the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). 

During his presentation, Dr. Perry highlighted that the current bilateral relations between Russia and the United States could be characterized as “a New Cold War; and this Cold war is even more dangerous than the previous one”. 

Dr. Perry emphasized that even if Russia and the United States bilateral relation is passing through difficult times, there are key areas in which further cooperation could get some progress –“We cannot solve every problem, but that does not mean we cannot solve some problems”-. He stressed that even in difficult times, both countries have “proved that they can work together”; and that both countries have common goals. One of these objectives is precisely on the nuclear field, “…we can focus on that common goal and work together or improve our nuclear relation; that will not only make our world safer but also could provide the basis to extend that dialogue to non-nuclear issues as well.” But what can be done to reduce the nuclear danger? “First and foremost, we must revive our diplomacy. We must start a robust dialogue between US and Russia on nuclear dangers”, Perry said”.

Dr. Perry also presented some highlights of his most recent book “My Journey at the Nuclear Brink” (Мой путь по краю ядерной бездны), which was recently translated into Russian and other languages. in which the author tells about the experience of his work on combating terrorism, including about cooperation with Russian and other partners. 

The speech of the American guest aroused great interest among the audience. At the end, Mr. W. Perry answered numerous questions.

In particular, commenting on the situation around North Korea, William Perry noted that Today they DPRK has a nuclear arsenal. In my judgment, they are not going to give up their nuclear arsenal. Diplomacy is no longer able to solve that problem and that’s the problem we have to deal with today. Therefore, U.S, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea have to being able to contain and deter the arsenal they have. It is not primarily a diplomatic issue, but a military issue. Secondly, we need diplomacy to try to lower that danger”.

Speaking about Iran, the expert expressed his confidence in the need to preserve the nuclear deal on Iran in its current form, since "if the US withdraws from the deal, it will be a real catastrophe."

Finally, he concluded his lecture, at the Diplomatic Academy of Russian MFA, by calling the participants into action, underlining that “No one can resolve these huge problems by herself or himself, but I also believe that each of us can try; and as diplomats you have a special opportunity to make a difference.”

Video recording of the meeting on the channel of the Diplomatic Academy in YouTube. Photo on the website of the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.

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