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On October 24, 2019, Dostoevsky library hosted a RIAC Urban Breakfast “Arms under Control: will Russia and NATO Agree? Expert Assessment." In the course of the breakfast OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions report «Reducing the Risks of Conventional Deterrence in Europe. Arms Control in the NATO-Russia Contact Zones» was presented. Opening the event, Andrey Zagorsky briefly talked about the OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions, its structure, and its main activities.

On October 24, 2019, Dostoevsky library hosted a RIAC Urban Breakfast “Arms under Control: will Russia and NATO Agree? Expert Assessment." In the course of the breakfast OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions report «Reducing the Risks of Conventional Deterrence in Europe. Arms Control in the NATO-Russia Contact Zones» was presented. Opening the event, Andrey Zagorsky briefly talked about the OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions, its structure, and its main activities.

While expanding the topic, namely, conventional arms control, Wolfgang Zellner noted that we could be observing the return of the scenario of mutual deterrence in Europe. At the same time, unfortunately, the political leadership of almost all countries underestimate the risks of a situation where deterrence is again a determining factor. The expert concluded that traditional measures to reduce risks and tensions in the armament were not effective enough, they need to be adjusted to modern realities.

Wolfgang Richter emphasized the fact that the current perception of threats, both by the Russian side and NATO, mainly concerned potential unexpected offensive actions, or offensive cross-border operations in the format of large-scale exercises. It is important that the proposals to reduce tensions stated in the report do not change the existing status quo in military terms and are based on reciprocity, which offers space for an equitable dialog.

Evgeny Buzhinsky agreed that the parties had again returned to the policy of mutual deterrence, given that transparency and predictability are most important in this process. In case of a lack of information, the parties develop distorted ideas about each other's capabilities, therefore, the arms race is gaining momentum.

The speakers came to the conclusion that underestimation of the enemy’s capabilities and the risks associated with increased military activity, for example, in the Baltic and Black Sea regions, was a serious mistake. It is necessary to assess intent, rather than the opportunities of the parties. In this case, it may be possible to minimize the risks in arms control and mutual deterrence.

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