Experts

  • Position : Chairman of the Executive Board; Chairman of the "Trialogue" Club International
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
  • Position : Consultant
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
  • Position : "Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation" Program Director
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
complete list

PIR Center Discusses Strategic Stability and Arms Control Issues with US Experts

11.10.2018

MOSCOW, OCTOBER 15, 2018. PIR PRESS. “We have only two arms control treaties left, and I hope that the New START will be extended. What would an arms control regime look like after the New START expires? It is necessary to impose limitations upon the missile defense system because, following the American logic during the 60s, ABM turns to be a weapon of a potential aggressor. It is useless and impossible to include everything in one treaty, but the restrictions on offensive and defensive arms, including space-based ones will have to be the key elements of a future arms control architecture,” – Gen. Evgeny Buzhinskiy, Chairman of the PIR Center Executive Board. 

On October 2, 2018, PIR Center, in cooperation with the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, held a seminar on the topic “Assessing Recent Developments in US-Russia Relations, Arms Control and Strategic Stability.” The event was organized within the framework of Midweek Brainstorming Sessions traditionally conducted by PIR Center. 

The panelists included Research Scientists at the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) Corporation Jeffrey Edmonds and Vincent Manzo, Chairman of the PIR Center Executive Board Evgeny Buzhinskiy and PIR Center’s Consultant Andrey Baklitskiy. PIR Center’s “Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation” Program Director Adlan Margoev moderated the discussion.  

Other participants of the meeting included Deputy Director of Nonproliferation and Arms Control Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Vladimir Leontiev, Russian experts on Russian-American relations, foreign diplomats and students of the third cohort of the international dual master’s degree program “Global Security, Nuclear Policy and WMD Nonproliferation”, run by PIR Center, MGIMO University and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS).The meeting was held under the Chatham House rule, which allowed to openly exchange views. 

The panelists agreed that the dialogue on strategic stability between Russia and the United States is in critical condition. Only two arms control treaties remain in force – the INF and the New START Treaties, but their existence is under grave threat as well. In addition, Russia is concerned about the development of the U.S. missile defense system: “We have only two arms control treaties left, and I hope that the New START will be extended. What would an arms control regime look like after the New START expires? It is necessary to impose limitations upon the missile defense system because, following the American logic during the 60s, ABM turns to be a weapon of a potential aggressor. It is useless and impossible to include everything in one treaty, but the restrictions on offensive and defensive arms, including space-based ones will have to be the key elements of a future arms control architecture,” said Gen. Evgeny Buzhinskiy, Chairman of the PIR Center Executive Board. 

According to the participants of the seminar, the Russian-American dialogue on strategic stability is further complicated by the fact that the concept of “strategic stability” is interpreted by the American side in a very narrow sense as a balance of nuclear arsenals, while in Russian discourse this term supposes a parity of overall military potential of the two countries and – even more widely – it concerns international security environment, including cyberspace. 

The experts discussed the possible configuration of a treaty which would replace the New START: starting from a similar treaty that would stipulate a higher or a lower quantitative ceilings for allowed arsenals and continuing with a treaty or a package of treaties that would limit the missile defense systems as well as the amount of tactical nuclear weapons, non-nuclear strategic weapons, space-based weapon systems and stockpiles of fissile materials. If the New START expires before a new treaty is concluded, mutual inspections and information exchange would cease to exist. For Russia and the United States, this situation is fraught with possible increase of nuclear arsenals and general misunderstanding of each other’s strategic intentions in nuclear weapons area, which can have a negative impact on the nonproliferation regime. 

The participants of the seminar stressed the negative impact that the domestic political situation in the United States has on US-Russia relations. The antagonism between the Trump Administration and the US Congress as well as lack of a common position on arms control at the Pentagon and in the National Security Council explain the absence of a clear US nuclear policy and a policy towards Russia. According to some experts, if the Democratic Party strengthens its positions following the midterm elections in the United States, the state of the Russian-American relations may continue to deteriorate. However, others believe that the elections will not have a significant impact on the current situation in the sphere of Russian-American relations, arms control, and strategic stability. 

For questions related to PIR Center’s “Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation” Program, you can contact Program Director Adlan Margoev via e-mail margoev at pircenter.org or by phone +7 (495) 987 19 15.

Comments

 
 
loading