Status: Open

Security Index №3 (100), 2012

April 19, 2012

(International Edition)



Reaching One Hundred

“At the beginning of new Russia, values and ethical criteria were eroded, and NGOs specializing in international security were seen as something unnatural. Now that we have reached a hundred, it is clear that the timing was not bad luck at all; it was actually our great good fortune. It was a time of great risks, but also a time when it was right and proper to take those risks and tread new paths,” – writes Vladimir Orlov in his editorial article for the landmark 100th issue of the Security Index journal.


The Conference on Disarmament Is an Irreplaceable Forum – Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

The new Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva and the Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, speaks in his interview about the prospects of the Conference on Disarmament, especially with regard to the FMCT negotiations, about the talks on the draft treaty preventing the deployment of weapons in outer space, about chances for Global Treaty on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime to be adopted, and the recent trends in the national cyber strategies.

CTBT: Not yet in Force but already Effective – Tibor Tóth

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was adopted and opened for signature by the UN General Assembly in 1996. What are the prospects for the Treaty to enter into force? What progress has been made by the Preparatory Commission – the institution that was created to build the verification regime? We have put our questions to the Executive Secretary of the CTBTO, Ambassador Tibor Tóth.

Further Sanctions against Iran Pointless – Sergey Ryabkov

The Iranian nuclear program: is it a threat, and can it trigger an arms race in the Middle East? Or are rumors about its dangers much exaggerated? What are the main problems with the approaches being used by the international community to address the issue? What are the steps Iran itself is prepared to take? Finally, what is the Russian strategy and tactics in resolving the Iranian nuclear problem? We have put our questions to the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.

Kazakhstan: the NPT Is Asymmetric and Not Efficient Enough – Yerzhan Kazykhanov

Ever since independence Kazakhstan has always been among the leading advocates of reducing the nuclear threat. In 2011 the country hosted the International Forum for a Nuclear Weapons-Free World. The Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov in his interview describes the Forum’s outcomes, his country’s international initiatives in the nonproliferation field and Central Asian experience of establishing a nuclear weapons-free zone.

Nuclear Weapons Have Outlived Their Usefulness as a Political Instrument – Gennady Evstafiev

In the first issue of the Yaderny Kontrol in November 1994 we published an interview headlined “Nine Questions on Nuclear Nonproliferation” with Gennady Evstafiev, who served at the time as head of the disarmament and WMD nonproliferation department of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR). 18 years on, we have discussed with Lieut.-Gen. Evstafiev, PIR Center Advisory Board member, the same questions concerning the key problems facing the nonproliferation regime, its future, and the difficulties of Russia in the area of nuclear security. What has changed since 1994?


Russia’s Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy from 1991 to 2011: Twenty Years since the Soviet Union’s Collapse, still Soviet – Vladimir Orlov

One might be excused for thinking that over the past 20 years Russia has failed to formulate an independent nuclear nonproliferation policy. As a matter of fact, during this period Russia has come forward with dozens of important initiatives. To what extent the Russia’s nuclear policies were influenced by its domestic situation and problems? What was the role of the pressure from other international players? Finally, 20 years on, what does Russia actually want from nuclear weapons and nuclear nonproliferation? All these questions are explicitly addressed by the author.

Global Nuclear Energy Architecture: a Key to Energy Security – Nikolai Ponomarev-Stepnoi

The future of nuclear energy has become a subject of much debate. Will nuclear power plants become the central part of world’s energy strategy, or will safety concerns spell the end of the nuclear renaissance? The article analyzes the role nuclear energy can play in energy security and the obstacles on the way to increasing that role. The author explains the main technological aspects of nuclear energy development and how these aspects correspondent with the international nonproliferation regime.

Prospects for U.S. and Russian Nuclear Cuts in View of NPT Article VI Commitments – Eugene Miasnikov

The 2010 NPT Review Conference called on the states which possess the largest nuclear arsenals to play the leading role in implementing its Action Plan. The article discusses specific steps which could be undertaken by Russia and the United States in the near time frame in order to implement the Plan’s recommendations and to demonstrate their commitment to Article VI of the NPT. The author looks for approach that would help Moscow and Washington to overcome the strategy of mutual nuclear deterrence, which continues to dominate bilateral relations despite proclamations about the end of the Cold War and the “reset” policy.

China and Nuclear Disarmament: Is Reduction of Chinese Strategic Nuclear Weapons a Possibility? – Alexander Kolbin

For the past 40 years China has not made any significant changes to its nuclear strategy. As part of the new nuclear disarmament agenda the country is facing growing calls to engage more actively and constructively in the process of achieving a nuclear-weapons-free world. Is Beijing ready for this? Will it be ready any time soon? This paper is focused on discussing the most dangerous possible challenges of China’s nuclear strategy in the period from 2012 to 2020 considering the likelihood of progress towards a reduction of China’s strategic nuclear arsenal over this decade.


U.S.-Russian Security Dialogue in 2012: Steps to Be Taken, Steps to Be Expected, and Steps that Will not Be Taken – Evgeny Buzhinskiy, Joseph Cirincione, Michael Elleman, David Holloway, Vladimir Kuchinov, Vladimir Orlov, Steven Pifer, Sharon Squassoni, and Igor Zevelev

What can be expected from the year 2012 for the U.S.-Russian relations in the field of security – the year of presidential elections both in Russia and the United States? What are the key problems? Whether the opportunities to solve those problems exist? And what does the long-term outlook for Russian-U.S. relations look like? These and other questions were addressed by the Sustainable Partnership with Russia (SuPR) Group members during their meeting in Washington D.C. in December 2011.


NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index: a Framework for Assurance, Accountability and Action – Sam Nunn

Global nuclear security is only as strong as its weakest link. Today many governments struggle to secure the materials that can be used to build nuclear weapons. Moreover, there is no agreed international system or globally accepted practices for regulating the production of, use of, and security requirements for nuclear materials. The author describes the purpose and methodology of the new NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index – a country-by-country assessment of the status of nuclear materials security conditions around the world.

The Human Dimension of Nuclear Security – Adriaan van der Meer

Dealing with high-risk materials and technologies has the potential for inappropriate and unauthorized use. That is why the human factor is a key element of an effective nonproliferation regime. The article appeals to further develop a culture of responsibility among scientists, engineers, and institutions dealing with nuclear materials. This grass roots approach, author believes, would be more positive and cost effective than other measures related to the nonproliferation policy chain.


The International Security Index in December 2011-January 2012 – Galiya Ibragimova

Financial sanctions lifted by the UN Security Council against Libya; an agreement on peaceful power transfer between the president Ali Abdullah Saleh and the opposition in Yemen; Iran’s naval exercises in the Strait of Hormuz and its launch of a medium-range surface-to-air missile; negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian representatives; the death of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il; a tropical storm that killed more than 500 people in the southern Philippines. Members of the PIR Center International Expert Group – Irma Arguello, Evgeny Buzhinsky, Pàl Dunay, Konstantin von Eggert, Andrey Kortunov, Mehdi Sanaei, and Chun-Sheng Tian – comment on the recent world events.

Times Are Changing… – Yury Fedorov

Many of the basic notions, strategic assumptions and stereotypes which determined the course of international politics after the Cold War have turned out to be obsolete.They are hardly effective as instruments of restoring global financial stability; preventing the collapse of the nonproliferation regime; neutralizing the dangerous trends originating in the Muslim world; or preventing another bout of military and political tensions along the borders of the former Soviet Union. The author notes that a new thinking and new policies are required to meet these and other challenges of the 21st century.

Winds of Change Becoming a Storm – Dmitry Evstafiev

For all the critical commentaries, the international nuclear nonproliferation regime has been quite effective, given the fairly limited resources invested into its maintenance. It has put an end to the nuclear ambitions of countries which did not have the resources for such ambitions. Moreover, it has seriously slowed the nuclear weapons programs of the countries which have both the resources and the political will. Looking through the radical transformations of the global political landscape in 2011 the author asks, would it not be better to stop spouting various creative ideas for fixing the regime? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And don’t try to wreck it, either.


On Both Sides of the Iron Curtain – Vasily Lata

The book “The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy” by David Hoffman is a true documentary thriller focusing on the most difficult period of the 20th century. The international situation at that time is described as teetering on the brink of a nuclear world war. The book offers a comprehensive view of the causes of U.S.-Soviet confrontation and follows its gradual evolution.


Congratulating Note from the Russian Defense Ministry – Anatoly Serdyukov

100th Issue: a Good Opportunity for New Starts – Sergey Prikhodko

Solving the Problems through Joint Efforts –Sergey Ryabkov

A Journal That Is Interesting to Read – Nikolay Spassky

How Useful Are SuPR Group Recommendations? – Leonid Reshetnikov


PIR Center Advisory Board, International Expert Group, and Sustainable Partnership with Russia Group members


On Further Goals