PIR Center international seminar became a platform where the representatives from Russian Foreign Ministry and Rosatom spoke together with representatives from the USA, Iran, Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, UAE and the Arab League.


  • Affiliation : Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the CNS; Payne Distinguished Lecturer at the CISAC; Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution
  • Affiliation : Dean of Academic Programs, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology
  • Affiliation : Chairman, Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs
  • Affiliation : Facilitator of the 2012 Middle East Conference
  • Affiliation : Director, Department for non-proliferation and arms control, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
  • Position : Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
  • Affiliation : Russian Foreign Ministry
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The Results of PIR Center International Seminar on the Middle East Zone Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction


100084.jpgMOSCOW, OCTOBER 9, PIR PRESS "Creation of a Zone Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Middle East is inseparably linked to the ongoing Middle East peace process. Luckily there is a feedback as well: development of sustained dialogue on the Zone can in turn facilitatate the Middle East peace process, leading to creation of favorable atmosphere for further negotiations" - Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, Security Index Journal Editorial Board member Sergey Ryabkov.

The international conference on establishment of the Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Middle East, scheduled for December 2012 is under threat because of the contradictions among the regional players. Regarding this matter, on October 4, 2012 PIR Center with the support from Gorchakov Foundation for Public Diplomacy held in Moscow an international seminar where leading researchers and high-level government officials from 32 countries participated to exchange their thoughts on the current state of affairs. The seminar brought together US Under Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller, the Deputy Director for Strategic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel Jeremy Issacharoff, Facilitator of the 2012 Conference Jaakko Laajava, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, Sergey Ryabkov, Iran's permanent representative to the UN, IAEA and other international organizations in Vienna  Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Deputy Director General of the Rosatom State Corporation Nikolai Spassky as well as experts from the region.

5073d59949899.jpgAccording to the Under Secretary of State of Finland Jaakko Laajava, who serves as a Facilitator of the 2012 conference, conveying the Conference is not going to be an easy task, albeit “all steps involving commitments in the area of security are risky by nature, but risks can certainly abound if no efforts at all in this direction are being made in the region of Middle East. As elsewhere the primary responsibility rests at all times with the states of the region themselves, however there has to be a full support to their efforts by the entire international community”.

PIR Center President Vladimir Orlov believes that "the first practical step would be a joint statement of all participants of the Conference to refrain from attacks on all declared nuclear installations, as well as from the threat of such attacks. The recent developments surrounding the Iranian nuclear program, which underwent an attack by cyber weapons, both confirm the relevance of this issue, and raise the question of defining the scope of such attacks."

5073d54f17a23.jpgThe opinion of Vladimir Orlov is supported by the Director of Disarmament and Multilateral Affairs of the League of Arab States, Wael Al-Assad: "As for the practical aspects of establishing a Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone, although there are difficult moments, from the technical point of view it is all achievable if given the political will."

The detailed program of the seminar, materials and photo gallery are available at PIR Center website.

Materials covering the seminar were published in Kommersant newspaper and on the website of the International Affairs journal (both in Russian).

For comments of PIR Center experts, please contact Andrey Baklitskiy by phone +7 (985) 764-98-96, fax +7 (495)981-19-14, or  email: baklitsky at