• Position : Chairman of the Executive Board
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
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PIR Center School: the course of “nuclear” module


MOSCOW, JULY 9, 2018. PIR PRESS. “Considering various challenges, the international community is facing in the nuclear sector, the nuclear nonproliferation regime based on the NPT is going through tough times. Nevertheless, it is remarkable that there are still not more than ten nuclear powers. Notwithstanding the concerns of the creeping proliferation of nuclear weapons as expressed by J.F. Kennedy more than five decades ago, we can consider that the NPT, by and large, is fulfilling its functions, albeit with occasional setbacks. While the NPT continues to be the basis of the regime, no potential alternatives for the treaty are likely to be seen in the short run”, maintains one of the winners of the 2018 International School on Global Security, Associate Professor of the Novosibirsk State University of Economics and Management Gleb Toropchin.

From June 2 to 10, the 18th International School on Global Security took place in Zvenigorod. The school was organized by PIR Center and the Center for Global Problems and International Organizations of the Institute for Contemporary International Problems of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry. One of the central thematic clusters was dedicated to the problem of nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and to the discussion of the issues concerning atomic energy and arms control.

The Head of the Center for Global Problems and International Organizations of the Institute for Contemporary International Problems of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, PIR Center’s Founder & Special Advisor Vladimir Orlov opened the cluster by telling the participants of the School about international regimes of nonproliferation of WMD, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and modern challenges to the regime of nuclear nonproliferation. The expert emphasized that the problem of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the means of their delivery is classified among contemporary threats in all Russian foreign policy documents. 

In another lecture, Vladimir Orlov traced the history of the Iranian nuclear program, elaborating on the current status of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). In the meantime, Pavel Timofeev, a Research Fellow at the Department for European Political Studies of the IMEMO of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a participant of the School, and Gleb Toropchin, Associate Professor of the Novosibirsk State University of Economics and Management, presented the positions of France and Germany toward the preservation of the JCPOA. Meanwhile, Alexander Vorontsov covered another vital case from the world of nonproliferation – the nuclear problem on the Korean peninsula. 

On June 9, Sergey RyabkovDeputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, delivered a lecture for the participants of the School. One of the pivots of his presentation was the Russian-American dialogue on the issues of nonproliferation. The meeting was held in accordance with the rule of Chatham House, allowing the high-ranking diplomat to have a trustful and profound discussion with the participants of the School. 

PIR Center Advisory Board member, Alexey Ubeev, covered the role of the IAEA and other international mechanisms of addressing the issues of nonproliferation and nuclear safety. Alexey also held a seminar where four participants of the school made their presentations. Veronika Bedenko, MA Candidate at Dual Degree Master Program "Global Security, Nuclear Policy and WMD Nonproliferation" of MGIMO and Middlebury Institute of International Studies, evaluated the importance of floating nuclear power stations for solving energy problems and the issues of nuclear nonproliferation, emphasizing the problem of international legal regulation of cooperation between states in this sphere. Natalia Artemenkova, also a student of this program, analyzed the current status of the Russian-American cooperation in the sphere of atomic energy, elaborating on what is left of the complex of Russian-American agreements in the field of the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Gleb Lebedev, a specialist of the International Uranium Enrichment Center of the state company Rosatom, provided an in-depth review of the advantages and drawbacks of main approaches to the future of the IAEA safeguards. In his review, Mr. Lebedev contended that the Russian program to support the safeguards is one of the key Russian contributions to the functioning and development of the IAEA safeguards. Anatoly Skripov, the Director of the Educational and Scientific Center of the Expertise of Certification and the Problems of Quality of the Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin, covered the new challenges of national and international systems of export control and emphasized the main ways of addressing new challenges using the example of Russia. 

A module of lectures on arms control was delivered by the PIR Center Board Chairman Evgeny Buzhinsky, who also introduced up-to-date dossier on the conventional arms control and the threats of the resurgence of the arms race. A presentation by Ekaterina Skvortsova, the School participant and a postgraduate student of the department of international relations of the Saint-Petersburg State University, was dedicated to the Polish-American cooperation in the sphere of missile defence. 

Vadim Kozyulin, the PIR Center Project Director on Emerging Technologies and Global Security, lectured about the use of new technologies for military purposes. He paid special attention to the development of artificial intelligence, robots, hypersound weapons and deadly autonomous systems. Next, the Adviser to the Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control of the Russian Foreign Ministry Vladimir Ladanov delivered a lecture concerning chemical and biological weapons. During his presentation, Mr. Ladanov described currently existing methods of control over such weapons and stressed that Russia has already destructed all of its chemical weapons. On the other hand, the U.S. has not yet fulfilled its commitment according to the Chemical Weapons Convention. Vladimir Ladanov also commented on the Scripal case, expounding on the issues of the development and production of the Novichok nerve agent.  

In addition to lectures and presentations, the participants of the School also visited the Patriot park where they inspected the exposition of the 12th Main Department of the Ministry of Defense of Russia Atom on the Motherland’s Service dedicated to the history of nuclear energy. During the excursion, the participants were introduced to the theory of structure and fission of atomic nucleus, watched a film about nuclear tests and saw life-size models of nuclear weapons.

In the final stage of the program, the participants engaged in the debate titled «Will the World be Safer Without Nuclear Weapons?». Moderated by the director of the «Russia and Nuclear nonproliferation» program Adlan Margoev, the participants were divided into two teams: Evgeny Gamerman and Alexandra Georgevich, who were tasked to advocate that the absence of nuclear weapons would guarantee a better safety to the world, while Ara Arutyunyan and Ekaterina Savostina had to prove the contrary.  

The presentations were well-grounded and passionate. Besides, the presentations contained arguments picked from the proceedings of the participants of the School over the whole course. Following formal debates by the two teams, the audience answered the same question through a secret ballot vote and determined which team presented the most convincing arguments. The results of the vote demonstrated that the team that argued for the positive impact of nuclear weapons on global security won only by one vote. Notably, the opposite point of view was more popular by the same one point in the beginning of the vote.

The 2018 International School on Global Security was organized with the support of the Gorchakov Fund for Public Diplomacy and the Russkiy Mir Foundation in partnership with the Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport of Switzerland, Carnegie Corporation in New York, Regional Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Trialogue International Club. The representatives of regional centers on the issues of nonproliferation were given an opportunity to take part in the School thanks to the support of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.   

Information about the School, participants and lecturers, program and partners is available on the PIR Center's website.  

For all questions related to the PIR Center's educational programs, you can contact PIR Center Project Coordinator Yuliya Seslavinskaya by e-mail [email protected], tel. + 7 (499) 940 09 83.