Russian Pugwash Committee blog on the Russian International Affairs Council official site

Moscow meetings on Avoiding Nuclear Destabilization

December 16, 2018

On 6-7 December 2018, Pugwash organized a seminar, "Avoiding Nuclear Destabilization", and other side meetings in Moscow in cooperation with the Russian Pugwash Committee. This was interconnected with the Russian Congress of Political Scientists organized by the Russian Political Science Association, MGIMO-University under the Russian Foreign Ministry, and the Financial University under the Government of Russia, which allowed some Congress participants to take part in the Pugwash debates. These consultations with Russian experts were designed to seek out reaction in Moscow and the Russian strategic community to the US Administration’s announcement to withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and survey current opinion on the future of arms control.

Summary of main points:

  • There is an urgent need by both parties to the INF Treaty to pursue joint verification of the alleged violation rather than allow this important agreement to lapse.

  • Focus in the expert community can be placed on identifying mutually acceptable measures to enhance security in the future.

  • The current deficit of strategic dialogue between the US and Russia needs to be addressed and efforts made to engage on an extension to the New START treaty and follow-on treaty.

  • The 2020 NPT Review Conference will be placed under immense pressure if the Nuclear Weapons States make no tangible progress on their Article VI commitments.

  • In sum, the direction of arms control has been negatively impacted by recent developments. Serious attention amongst experts as well as governments should be given to identify measures that would increase strategic stability.

  • There are a number of options to be explored that would contribute to arms control and the wider dimension of non-proliferation.

Read the full report and proposals for arms control at the Pugwash website.
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