Status: Open

Transparency in Nuclear Arsenals and Doctrines

October 27, 2022

Implementing any measures contained in the future “Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control” mandated by Article VI of the NPT will clearly take a lot of time. It will in fact take longer than the implementation of all the other nuclear disarmament treaties put together.

The two preconditions required for the launch of negotiations on such a treaty are effective confidence-building and transparency measures, and verification measures. Transparency and verification are therefore closely interlinked; after all, the main principle of any effective disarmament agreement is that transparency must be verifiable.

The reverse, however, is also true. If a country fails to provide information about the numbers and other characteristics of its nuclear weapons and fissile material stockpiles, it becomes impossible for the expert community to develop effective verification mechanisms.

During their bilateral nuclear disarmament process, theUnited StatesandRussiahave already developed a comprehensive set of measures for the verification of the elimination of nuclear weapons delivery systems. But verifying the elimination of the actual nuclear warheads is a problem that has yet to be resolved.

The following steps will have to be undertaken in that regard:

– Identify a universally acceptable definition of the term “nuclear warhead”,

– Release information about the numbers and types of warheads (both actively deployed an held in reserve) held by every individual country, and develop a system of monitoring that information,

– Develop a mechanism of inspections and verification measures for the facilities where the warheads are being held,

– Find a balance between the national and global security interests,

– Develop technical means which can ascertain that the warhead being destroyed is a genuine explosive nuclear device,

– Develop technical means to ascertain that every individual explosive nuclear device has been destroyed.

PIR Center in its work pays much attention to studying the mechanisms for transparency in nuclear arsenals and doctrines and future nuclear weapons reductions, holding events and organizing discussions in the Security Index journal on the subject.


1. Recommendations of the Sustainable Partnership with Russia Group