• Position : Deputy Head of the Representative Office of Rossotrudnichestvo - Russian House in Bishkek
  • Affiliation : Rossotrudnichestvo
  • Position : Consultant
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
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Experts discussed prospects for the nuclear nonproliferation regime


MOSCOW, MARCH 31, 2020. PIR-PRESS. – “The entry into force of the Treaty 50 years ago was one of the most significant achievements in the field of strengthening international peace and security in the second half of the twentieth century. For half a century of its existence, the NPT has become a universal international legal instrument constituting one of the central elements of the modern world order and an important pillar for international peace and stability” – Oleg Rozhkov, Deputy Director of the Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

On March 12, 2020, a workshop “50 Years after Ratification of the NPT by the Soviet Union and its Entry into Force: Lessons Learned and Prospects for Strengthening of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime” took place. The event was co-sponsored by the PIR Center and the Institute of Contemporary International Studies (ICIS) at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian MFA.

Welcome remarks were made by Dr. Oleg Karpovich, Director of the ICIS at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian MFA, who spoke on behalf of the rector of the Diplomatic Academy Amb. Alexander Yakovenko. The guests of the meeting were also welcomed by Dr. Vladimir Orlov, Director of the PIR Center, the Head of the Center for Global Trends and International Organizations of the ICIS at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian MFA, and Professor at MGIMO University.

In the framework of the first session “Lessons Learned”, reports were made by Oleg Rozhkov, Deputy Director of the Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of RussiaVladimir Artisyuk, Advisor to the Director General of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, and Darya Selezneva, Junior Researcher at the IMEMO.

In his address, Oleg Rozhkov noted that the Russian Federation, as a depository country, was one of the originators of the NPT, which imposes a special responsibility on it. He emphasized that Russia strictly fulfills its obligations in line with Article VI. Oleg Rozhkov spoke in detail about the problems which the non-proliferation regime is facing today. The official representative of the Russian MFA noted that “a responsible and protective approach to previously reached agreements is necessary. It is this basis that Russia will act on and seek ways to strengthen the non-proliferation regime jointly with other parties to the NPT”.

Vladimir Artisyuk’s speech centered on issue of maintaining the balance between the development of atomic energy for peaceful purposes and strengthening of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the IAEA safeguards system. The speaker noted: “The global development of nuclear energy sector, subject to the IAEA safeguards regime, seems to be a powerful driver for reducing inequality between developed and developing countries and can serve as a factor in the NPT strengthening”.

Darya Selezneva emphasized the availability of many external and internal challenges to the NPT regime, creating uncertainty and the possibility of negative consequences. According to the speaker, the outcome of the Review Conference - whenever it will take place - will largely depend on the readiness of states for dialogue and discussion of these problems and search for their solutions.

In the second session “Prospects for Strengthening”,  presentations were made by Andrey Baklitskiy, Consultant at the PIR Center, Researcher at the Center for Global Issues and International Organizations of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian MFA, Dr. Andrey Malov, PIR Center’s Advisory Board member and Associate Professor of the International and National Security Department at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian MFA, Dr. Vladimir Orlov, Director of the PIR Center, and Adlan MargoevYaderny Kontrol (Nuclear Control) newsletter Editor.

Andrey Baklitskiy spoke about the P5 as a new element of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. He suggested that the P5 has great potential, but it is the lack of an agreed position of the parties, internal tensions and the lack of political will which prevent the realization its capabilities. In a discussion, Amb. Mikhail Lysenko, PIR Center Advisory Board member, Associate Professor of the International Law Department at MGIMO University noted that the P5 remains a unique platform that could become a mechanism for constant dialogue and information exchange.

In his report “Nuclear disarmament - will the NPT remain?” Dr. Andrey Malov examined the impact of the nuclear disarmament factor on the future of the NPT regime. The expert considers that in present-day realities “the nuclear disarmament factor can have a more serious and deeper impact on compliance of the Treaty” than ever before, and can also have a substantial impact on the course and outcome of the 2020 Review Conference.

In his speech on the topic “WMD-free zone in the Middle East - Reflecting upon the outcome of the New York Conference on the WMDFZ held in November (2019)” Dr. Vladimir Orlov assessed the November conference as largely successful, and spoke about the continuing contradictions on this issue. The speaker stressed that the establishment of the WMD-free zone in the Middle East would be in the best interest of Russia, which consistently supports the idea of its creation.

During his speech “Prospects for the aligning the text of the final document of the NPT Review Conference 2020. Scenario Overview”, Adlan Margoev noted that the adoption of the final document primarily depends on the coordination of the positions of the P5 members and the lack of tensions between them, and gave a pessimistic forecast based on the analysis of the current situation. Aleksey Ubeev, the PIR Center Advisory Board member, leading professor of the Dual Degree Master Program on WMD Nonproliferation Studies at MGIMO University, expressed the following opinion on this issue: “Failure to adopt the final document does not mean the failure of the conference. If the operation of the Treaty [without adoption of the final document] continues, then this has to be accepted”.  

The discussions were also attended by: Alexander Vorontsov, the PIR Center Advisory Board member, Head of the Korea and Mongolia Department at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Albert Zulkharneev, PIR Center consultant, Vladimir Rybachenkov, the PIR Center Advisory Board member, Ekaterina Lapanovich, Assistant Professor of the Department of Theory and History of International Relations at the Ural Federal University, and Ekaterina Mikhaylenko, Associate Professor of the Department of Theory and History of International Relations at the Ural Federal University.

The workshop was attended by more than 50 persons, including diplomats from Kazakhstan and Switzerland, representatives of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MGIMO University, Saint Petersburg State University, Ural Federal University, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS), and the PIR Center staff.

As part of the workshop, the archive of Ambassador Roland Timerbaev (1927 - 2019) was presented. Amb. Timerbaev was former Chairman of the PIR Center Executive Board, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, one of the authors of the Treaty on the Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Ambassador Timerbaev actively participated in drafting several key international agreements in the sphere of strategic stability and nuclear non-proliferation. Roland Timerbaev stood at the origins of the PIR Center. From 1994 to 1998, he served as the PIR Center President, and from 1999 to 2010, he was the PIR Center Executive Board Chairman. Dr. Orlov informed workshop guests that PIR Center’s team has been working on systematizing Amb. Timerbaev’s archive which was provided to PIR Center by his family. The archive will soon be open for researchers, including students

More information is provided on the PIR Center website.

Even though the workshop experts expected to see the results of their forecasts in just two months from now, the review process participants will have now additional time to work on preparations for a successful conference. UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced a postponement of the 10th review conference of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

For questions and comments related to the PIR Center’s project “The Future of the NPT: shaping Russia’s position”, please, contact Dr. Vladimir A. Orlov by e-mail [email protected]