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Issue: №7 (22)

This report was published following a series of joint seminars between the PIR Center and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS, USA) under the general title “Reducing Nuclear Risks in the Era of Great Power Rivalry” (November 12 - December 9, 2020). The report presents an extract of the views of Russian and American experts on strategic stability issues and outlines the basic principles of building a prospective arms control architecture. In particular, they touched upon the issues of structuring the negotiation process, as well as the prospects for achieving both legally and politically binding agreements in this area.

     Key findings:

  • Arms control is equally needed by both Russia and the United States. The creation of a next-generation security architecture must be supported by the belief on both sides in the importance of arms control. 
  • It is necessary to resume informal consultations on strategic stability as soon as possible. A preliminary discussion will not remove all questions and does not mean that all problems can be solved simultaneously. However, in the course of an informal discussion, participants could sort all the issues into “baskets” and determine a new priority agenda to be discussed during formal negotiations. The research is now available in English.
  • It is unlikely that Russia and the United States will be ready or, in the case of the United States, able to sign and ratify a legally binding treaty covering all these types of weapons. Nevertheless, despite the development of new technologies, Russia and the United States should strive for legally binding agreements in areas closely related to verification - especially regarding the total number of nuclear warheads and their delivery vehicles, even as the development of technologies (cyber weapons, space assets, nuclear modernization, AI) depends more on modern ethics, dictating to keep up with the times, than on formal agreements. 
  • Cyber threats to command, control, communications and intelligence systems, and critical infrastructure (C3I) are a hot topic for bilateral discussion. Russia and the United States must agree to abandon cyber operations against nuclear command infrastructure and missile warning systems.



Security Index Occasional Paper Series presents reports, analytical articles, comments and interviews that reflect the positions of Russian and foreign experts on the current challenges of global security and Russian policy in this sphere. The newsletter aims at providing clear analysis of global security problems and suggesting practical solutions. Security Index Occasional Paper Series continues the Security Index journal published by PIR Center in 1994 – 2016. Authors and editors will be glad to receive comments, questions and suggestions on our e-mail address [email protected].