Joint Understanding on Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, Joint Sstatement on Missile Defense and Joint Statement on Nuclear Cooperation were adopted at a meeting of Russian and US presidents in Moscow
The Council of Federation ratified agreement on the establishment of the International Organization for ITER

International Security Index iSi




The present occasional paper seeks to provide a comprehensive analysis of the key provisions of the Basic Principles of State Policy of the Russian Federation on Nuclear Deterrence and put them into perspective, while also drawing on the 2014 Military Doctrine. The “Basic Principles” is considered as a development of major importance since it is the first time in Russian history that such a detailed nuclear policy planning document is released publicly, and the room for misinterpretation of Russian nuclear policy is narrowed.


PIR Center continues to publish policy papers, which were prepared for a joint seminar on reducing nuclear risks during great power competition, which was co-organized together with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). As it appears that such competition is already underway, we decided to release two policy memos originally prepared for the seminar under one cover “Strategic (In)Stability: Perspectives from the U.S.”. As discussed by the authors, there is some overlooked potential for constructive engagement between Russian and the United States with regards to arms control and emerging technologies.


«Active involvement of the organizing partners, academic advisors, and instructors of the Dual Degree Master`s Program allows us to maintain a high level, dynamics, and quality of the educational process. Students of the program continue to show impressive results, and the recent master's thesis defense is a good confirmation of that», – Educational Program Director of PIR Center Yulia Sych.

Introduction to Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime

  Introduction to Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime

(2 credits)

© The course program developed by Dr. Vladimir A. Orlov, PIR Center, 2019.

The course instructor: Dr. Vladimir A. Orlov, with participation of Dr. Bruce Allyn and Ms. Cynthia Lazaroff


1.1     The place and role of the course in the program of study:

The course “Introduction to Nuclear Nonproliferation” aims at providing knowledge on international nonproliferation regime of nuclear weapons as a complex system within the global security context. It is an introduction to the whole system of nuclear nonproliferation-related treaties, agreements, and arrangements, providing both basic definitions and major issues for discussion. The course introduces contemporary vision of nuclear proliferation as the key threat to global security of the 21th century and provides comparative analysis of different types of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, chemical, and biological, as well as their means of delivery. 

The course goals and objectives:

The main goal of the course is to provide students with definition of nuclear nonproliferation and with basic knowledge of key elements of the international nuclear nonproliferation regime and its major problems.

Course objectives:

  1. To introduce basic concepts and theories in nuclear nonproliferation studies.
  2. To orient students to understand the structure of emerging complex system of nuclear nonproliferation regime, in particular, related to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).
  3. To provide students with methodology of applied political analysis of the current nuclear nonproliferation issues.

1.2     Learning outcomes:

Classes are generally held to promote discussion on contested security questions.

Teaching methods used include lectures, seminar discussions, students’ seminar presentations, Oxford-style debates and a simulation.

By the end of this course students should be able to:

  1. Apply basic theoretical approaches to nuclear nonproliferation in explaining current security situations.
  2. Understand why nuclear proliferation is considered the key threat to global security in the 21st century
  3. Assess the efficiencies and deficiencies of the existing political and legal frameworks of nuclear nonproliferation.
  4.  Give reasons to the prospects of nuclear nonproliferation regime
  5. Search literature on nuclear nonproliferation issues, distinguish between authoritative and unreliable sources on these issues.

Course requirements:

Students will be required to attend no less than 90% of classes and to be prepared for class discussions. Conscientious reading of the assigned materials is compulsory. All students are required to participate in seminar discussions. All students will have three provisional tests during the course to assess (provisionally) their familiarity with the course material, including lectures and readings. These tests will be implemented in the format of a seminar, debates and a simulation.  Students will also be required to prepare one presentation and to present it in due time.

Students of the WMD Nonproliferation program take final oral exam.

Grading plan:  

WMD Nonproliferation program



Class active participation


Seminar, debates, simulation




Oral exam



Presentations (requirements): 10 min oral presentation accompanied with Power Point slides.

Requirements for the simulations and debates will be distributed separately 2 weeks in advance. If participating students have any questions about these requirements, they should consult directly with the instructor.


Course outline & Literature (available in pdf)

Lecture 1.1.1 ABC of WMD Nonproliferation

Lecture 1.2.1 NPT and its role in global security architecture. Three pillars of nuclear nonproliferation

Lecture 1.2.2 Evolution of Nonproliferation Regime 1990s to 2010s

Lecture 2.1.1 NPT RevCons 1995-2015