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The Security Index Occasional Paper Series came out with the new report «The Future of Russian-American Arms Control: Principles of Interaction and New Approaches»

15.03.2021

MOSCOW, MARCH 15, 2021. PIR PRESS. The Security Index Occasional Paper Series came out with a joint report by PIR Center and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS, USA) "The Future of Russian-American Arms Control: Principles of Interaction and New Approaches". The research is available in Russian.

This report was published following a series of joint seminars between the PIR Center and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS, USA) under the general title “Reducing Nuclear Risks in the Era of Great Power Rivalry” (November 12 - December 9, 2020). The report presents an extract of the views of Russian and American experts on strategic stability issues and outlines the basic principles of building a prospective arms control architecture. In particular, they touched upon the issues of structuring the negotiation process, as well as the prospects for achieving both legally and politically binding agreements in this area.

Key findings:

  • Arms control is equally needed by both Russia and the United States. The creation of a next-generation security architecture must be supported by the belief on both sides in the importance of arms control. 
  • It is necessary to resume informal consultations on strategic stability as soon as possible. A preliminary discussion will not remove all questions and does not mean that all problems can be solved simultaneously. However, in the course of an informal discussion, participants could sort all the issues into “baskets” and determine a new priority agenda to be discussed during formal negotiations. 
  • It is unlikely that Russia and the United States will be ready or, in the case of the United States, able to sign and ratify a legally binding treaty covering all these types of weapons. Nevertheless, despite the development of new technologies, Russia and the United States should strive for legally binding agreements in areas closely related to verification - especially regarding the total number of nuclear warheads and their delivery vehicles, even as the development of technologies (cyber weapons, space assets, nuclear modernization, AI) depends more on modern ethics, dictating to keep up with the times, than on formal agreements. 
  • Cyber threats to command, control, communications and intelligence systems, and critical infrastructure (C3I) are a hot topic for bilateral discussion. Russia and the United States must agree to abandon cyber operations against nuclear command infrastructure and missile warning systems.

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