Experts

  • Affiliation : Director of OSCE Academy
  • Affiliation : Director, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies
  • Position : Deputy Minister
  • Affiliation : The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
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Deputy Minister Antonov on Prompt Global Strike Weapons in Geneva

17.05.2013

MOSCOW, MAY 17, 2013. PIR PRESS – “If a new element emerges in strategic plans of the United States, for example implying replacement of nuclear capabilities with conventional missiles that can fulfill the same tasks as the nuclear weapons – it would be rather difficult for us to think about further reductions. Taking into account such compensation in conventional arms, the negotiations for the next treaty on nuclear disarmament would hardly be the right step to make,” – PIR Center Advisory Board Member, Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Anatoly Antonov.

On April 24, 2013, the Trialogue Club International and the PIR Center’s European branch Centre russe d’etudes politiques held a joint meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. PIR Center Advisory Board Member, author of the monograph Arms Control: History, Current State, and Perspectives, which was published as part of the PIR Center Library series in 2012, Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Anatoly Antonov gave a talk on “Long-Range Precision-Guided Conventional Weapons: Implications for Arms Control and Strategic Stability.”

trialogue_antonov_2.JPGThe meeting was attended by permanent representatives and senior diplomats of missions to the UN Office in Geneva and the Conference on Disarmament and heads of leading international and nongovernmental arms control organizations, including ambassadors from Austria, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, and Syria; deputy permanent representatives from Japan, Russia, and the United States; senior diplomats from the missions of France, Poland, and Sweden; Geneva Centre for Security Policy Senior Research Associate Paul Dunay; James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies Director William Potter; and UNIDIR Director Theresa Hitchens.

In his presentation, the Deputy Minister described Russia’s position on a wide spectrum of arms control issues with a particular focus on strategic offensive arms in non-nuclear configuration (SOANNC), evaluated perspectives for new negotiations between the United States and Russia on further nuclear reductions, and analyzed the challenges and threats to strategic stability posed by one-sided missile defense deployment, the prompt global strike concept, and deploying weapons in outer space.

trialogue_antonov_3.JPGSpeculating on non-nuclear strategic weapons and perspectives for future nuclear reductions, Ambassador Antonov noted that, “It seems evident that in the case of successful prompt global strike implementation, based largely on SOANNC, the United States Armed Forces will be strengthened by powerful, modern offensive arms as a solid foundation to enable them to perform global missions at sea, on land, or in space. Due to their combat characteristics, such missile systems will be capable of performing tasks that today are supposed to be carried out by strategic nuclear arms.”

At the same time, according to Ambassador Antonov, “the level of decision-making on the use of SOANNC could be lowered significantly in comparison with nuclear deterrent systems. We would like especially to emphasize the fact that in the case in SOANNC are accepted, the key factor of the so-called nuclear uncertainty and unpredictability will remain unchanged. It is necessary to point out that all the United States’ declared global strike-related targets are located in immediate proximity to Russian and Chinese borders. This is why any launch of non-nuclear ICBMs and SLBMs in the direction of the territory of the Russian Federation or China might be viewed as a missile attack, thus dramatically raising the risk of the launch of a counterattack strike.”

trialogue_antonov_4.JPGSpeaking on the impact that the SOANNC system could have on perspectives for further nuclear disarmament negotiations, the Deputy Minister stated, “If a new element emerges in strategic plans of the United States, for example implying replacement of nuclear capabilities with conventional missiles that can fulfill the same tasks as the nuclear weapons – it would be rather difficult for us to think about further reductions. Taking into account such compensation in conventional arms, the negotiations for the next treaty on nuclear disarmament would hardly be the right step to make".

Concurrently, analyzing perspectives for further negotiations on arms reductions, Ambassador Antonov noted that, “there is a lack of confidence and trust between NATO countries and the Russian Federation. We have a lot to do to become real partners in various spheres. That’s why we are looking at the potential for participation of France and the UK in such a partnership in the context of their membership in the Alliance. That’s why we are insisting that the next round of negotiations should be multilateral, at least we have to take into account the capabilities of the UK and France. I’m talking about the problem of disbalance in conventional arms. We must take into account this disbalance for future negotiations.”

For more information on membership to or the activities of the Trialogue Club International, please contact us by phone: +7 (495) 987-19-15, fax: +7 (495) 987-19-14, or email: trialogue at pircenter.org.

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