Russian Pugwash Committee blog

Open Letter to Presidents Biden and Putin: Statement prepared by Pugwash Conferences and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

June 10, 2021

We look forward with great optimism to your meeting in person as the leaders of the most powerful nuclear weapon states. We hope that your summit on June 16 in Geneva will help to rebuild mutual respect and cooperation between the United States and the Russian Federation.

Since the Soviet-U.S. alliance defeated fascism in 1945, courageous Russian and American leaders have several times channeled the courage to work together to put an end to the greatest risk facing humanity: a nuclear apocalypse, intended or unintended, that could end life on our planet.

In their cooperation to create the 1968 Nonproliferation Treaty, your predecessors limited the spread of the most dangerous weapons ever invented and committed to their ultimate elimination. Successive bilateral treaties have reduced their number by more than 85%. And you, President Putin and President Biden, have shown the same determination by extending New START, the most significant remaining bilateral arms control treaty.

We appeal to you to show the same courage and sense of urgency again when you meet in Geneva. Specifically, we urge you to:

  • Reaffirm the joint statement of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan: “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”
  • Commit to a bilateral strategic dialogue that is regular, frequent, comprehensive and result oriented leading to further reduction of the nuclear risk hanging over the world and to the re-discovery of the road to a world free of nuclear weapons.

Your responsibility extends far beyond your two great nations. The eyes of the world will be upon you, and we look forward to your success.

Sincerely,Peter Buijs, MD, Chair, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Netherlands. Prof. Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, Secretary General, Pugwash Conferences. Ambassador Sergio Duarte, President, Pugwash Conferences. Ruth Mitchell, MB, Chair, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. Andrew Albertson, Executive Director, Foreign Policy for America. Ambassador (ret.) Sergey Batsanov, Member, Pugwash Council. Andrey Baklitskiy, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of International Studies, MGIMO University. Emma Belcher, President, Ploughshares Fund. Rachel Bronson, PhD, President and CEO, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Edmund G. Brown Jr., former Governor of California, Executive Chair, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Dan Correa, Acting President, Federation of American Scientists. Ramon Cruz, President, Sierra Club. David E. Drake, DO, President, Physicians for Social Responsibility. Academician Alexandre Dynkin, Chair, Russian Pugwash Committee, Russian Academy of Sciences Colonel. General (ret.) Victor Esin, Former Chief of the Main Staff, Strategic Missile Forces of the Russian Federation (1994-1996). Prof. Aleksandr Ginzburg, Vice-Chair, Russian Pugwash Committee, Russian Academy of Sciences. Igor Ivanov, President of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Russia. Derek Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, Global Zero. Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director, Arms Control Association, and publisher Arms Control Today .Anton Khlopkov, Director, Center for Energy and Security Studies Academician. Sergey Kolesnikov, MD, co-President, All-Russia Social Movement “For Safeguarding People,” Russian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Anastasia Malygina, Saint Petersburg State University. Adlan Margoev, Institute of International Studies, MGIMO University. Prof. Steven Miller, Chair of the Executive Committee, Pugwash. Olga Mironova, MD, PhD, co-President, Russian Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. William J. Perry, 19th Secretary of Defense, Founder, William J. Perry Project. Dr. William C. Potter, Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar Professor of Nonproliferation Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Joan Rohlfing, President and Chief Operating Officer, Nuclear Threat Initiative. Natalya Samoylovskaya, Chair, Russian Student Pugwash Group and Member, Russian Pugwash Committee, Russian Academy of Sciences. Elena Sokova, Executive Director, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation. Dmitry Stefanovich, Research Fellow, Primakov Instititute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences. John F. Tierney, Executive Director, Council for a Liveable World. General of the Army (retired) Vyacheslav Trubnikov, Member, Board of Directors, Primakov National Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences. Stephen Young, Acting co-Director, Global Security Program, Union of Concerned Scientists.

Affiliations listed for identification purposes only

The full text is available on the Pugwash website.

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