Experts

  • Position : Advisor to the Head of the Executive Committee
  • Affiliation : All-Russia People's Front
  • Position : PIR Center Executive Board Member and Security Index Editorial Board Member
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
  • Position : Research Fellow
  • Affiliation : Odessa Center for Nonproliferation
  • Position : Consultant
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
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PIR Center Experts on Perspectives for Russian-American Relations

16.05.2013

129_350_175.jpgMOSCOW, MAY 16, 2013. PIR PRESS – “The exchange of letters between presidents is an important step, but merely the first one on the path to normalize relations. The exchange must be followed up by practical measures. At a minimum, we must go beyond state documents and give a green light to activate contacts on all levels. This will make it possible for concrete, effective joint projects to crystallize,” – PIR Center Vice President Dmitry Polikanov, on the state of Russian-American relations. 

Recently, relations between Russia and the United States, which have been going through a cooling phase, have started to turn for the better. On April 15, 2013, National Security Advisor to the President of the United States Thomas Donilon visited Moscow and delivered a letter from President Obama to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The letter contained a number of proposals for collaboration between Russia and the United States on strategic issues, including the countries’ nuclear arsenals and cybersecurity. It is expected that during his visit to the United States on May 20-21, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev will deliver Putin’s response to the US president. Earlier this year, US Minister of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that the United States is canceling the fourth and final phase of the European Phased Adaptive Approach missile defense program. Should we expect a new reset of relations between the two countries following this?

167_350_175.jpgPIR Center Executive Board Member Yuri Fedorov says in his blog post “Russia and the US: a New “Restart” or Empty Efforts?” (in Russian) that the American side is interested in normalizing relations with Moscow,  saying that “on a practical note, Washington would like to work together with Russia to solve the crisis in Syria and, more importantly, find a compromise with Moscow on missile defense. The latter, it seems, Washington believes will break a deadlock on an entire complex of issues relating to nuclear limits and reductions, including the very hot issue of limitations on nonstrategic nuclear weapons in Europe. Russia has insisted that an agreement on missile defense is a precondition for talks on tactical nuclear weapons.”

In his column in the newspaper Kommersant (in Russian), PIR Center Vice President Dmitry Polikanov agrees that both sides want to reach an agreement, but at the same time mere desire is not enough: “The exchange of letters between presidents is an important step, but merely the first one on the path to normalize relations. The exchange should be followed up by practical measures. At a minimum, we must go beyond state documents and give a green light to activate contacts on all levels. This will make it possible for concrete, effective joint projects to crystallize.”

134_350_175.jpgOn May 1, 2013, PIR Center Executive Director Albert Zulkharneev attended a seminar on perspectives for Russian-American relations in Washington, DC, where he noted that, “the state of the dialogue on security issues affects relations in all other spheres. The non-governmental and expert communities must support the efforts of diplomats and facilitate a change in climate for Russian-American relations. On the one hand, strengthening the nonproliferation regime is a common mission for both countries. On the other hand, we must do all we can to preserve the last line of defense under any circumstances. Fostering ties in education and research is an investment in the stability of normal intergovernmental relations.”

When the New START treaty was signed on April 8, 2010, the PIR Center and the Ploughshares Fund organized the Sustainable Partnership with Russia (SUPR) Group. The mission of SUPR is to facilitate efforts to establish a stable and long-term partnership between the US and Russia on key international security issues. As part of its work, the group prepared a set of recommendations that were then sent to the White House and Kremlin.

nunn_lugar.jpgWithin the framework of the its project “The Future of the Global Partnership and Russia-US Cooperation in Nuclear Security,” the PIR Center organized a working group on perspectives for Russia’s participation in international WMD nonproliferation and nuclear security projects. One of the group’s goals is to use the US and Russia’s experience under the Nunn-Lugar program to work together in third countries.

On May 1, 2013, PIR Center President Vladimir Orlov and Research Associate Alexander Cheban published an article in Russia in International Politics “Life After Death: Will a New Partnership Replace the Nunn-Lugar Program?” (in Russian).

For any questions regarding the working group of experts on perspectives for Russia’s participation in international WMD nonproliferation and nuclear security projects, please contact the “Nuclear Nonproliferation and Russia” program Coordinator Alexander Kolbin by phone  +7-495- 987-19-15, fax +7-495-987-19-14, or e-mail: kolbin at pircenter.org

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