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The article is devoted to the role of Congress in the development and adoption of policy decisions on arms control. The author analyzes the difference in the positions of the two parties on the issues of the New Start and the INF Treaty, noting that despite the inter-party contradictions, the tug-of-war with the president, and the limited influence of the Congress on the development of the foreign policy course, the Congress is able to slowly, but direct this course in the right direction with the help of existing levers of pressure.


 “At the beginning of the 2000s, the United States informed us about their desire to withdraw from the ABM Treaty. We warned that we would have to do something to enhance our deterrent capabilities. We did not plan to build up nation-wide defense because due to the size of our country this measure would take large amount of resources and would still be ineffective. Therefore, we had to design new warheads and new armaments. On behalf of the State Department John Bolton said to us: “Do whatever you want, we do not care.” Even though President Putin demonstrated new weapons, including hypersonic ones, I do not think we are going to produce those systems in big numbers. That was a signal to the United States: if they want us to develop those weapons further, that is ok, but we prefer to stop and start talking about limitation of our systems, including missile defense,” – Gen. Evgeny Buzhinskiy, Chairman of PIR Center’s Executive Board.


“The Draft Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is content-heavy, but it is not a comprehensive ban on this type of WMD. This is truly where its fundamental difference lies from disarmament conventions that prohibit biological and chemical weapons. The rush of the preparation of the document can be seen just by recalling how much time and effort was required by the NPT, and even the conventions on the banning of biological and chemical weapons, and on how carefully, using the UN General Assembly as a platform for measuring global public opinion, the Treaty of Tlatelolco was being prepared”, — member of the PIR Center Advisory Board, Honored Lawyer of the Russian Federation Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov.


 “I can assume that, as in the coldest years of the Cold War, the nonproliferation issues can be put in a separate basket of the Russian-American dialogue. What about arms control? Will it also go in the separate basket or will it be foremost in the common agenda, only to fall on the sword of Damocles? We must look for ways to get out of the current situation. Serious, intense exchange of views will help us to prepare for any and all possible scenarios,” – PIR Center President Vladimir Orlov


“The global prompt strike weapons are capable of providing a serious negative impact on international security and really undermine strategic stability. Their use cannot only impede the soonest conflict resolution, but vice versa can aggravate the international situation by increasing the possibility of the use of weapons of mass destruction due to the incorrect perception by Russia or China of the objectives of the launch of GPSW,” – Russian Deputy Defenсe Minister Dr. Anatoly Antonov in his interview for Security Index journal.


“From the very beginning, the fourth phase of the European Phased Adaptive Approach of the US missile defense system in Europe, raised concern in the Russian government because it threatens deterrence capabilities of Russia. Hagel’s announcement partially relieves this concern. However, in order to modify the current positions of the Russian MFA and MoD, officials will need to see official data on the Americans’ decisions. If the information is confirmed, this will become a crucial turning point in the countries’ relations,” – Evgeny Buzhinsky, PIR Center Senior Vice President.


“I assume that a Romney Administration would attempt to press more vigorously for modernization of the U.S. nuclear weapons and infrastructure, would be less sympathetic to the prospect of further reductions, and would much more strongly resist limitations upon the U.S. missile defense.” – Christopher Ford, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute.