Experts

  • Affiliation : Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
  • Position : Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USSR/ Russia
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Yuri Nazarkin and Robert Einhorn: US and Russia should channel all their efforts to save arms control

04.09.2018

MOSCOW, SEPTEMBER 4, 2018. PIR PRESS. – “At the time of confrontation between the United States and Russia, two summits – one in Geneva in 1985, and the other one in Reykjavik in 1986 – helped to change the atmosphere. Neither resulted in specific agreements, but they turned the developments for the better. Although President Trump is facing strong domestic pressure against any meetings with President Putin, this channel of communication should be maintained,” – Amb. Yuri Nazarkin, Professor of the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Member of Centre russe d’etudes politiques.

On July 16, 2018, President Putin and President Trump held a summit in Helsinki. Amb. Yuri Nazarkin, Professor of the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations and Member of Centre russe d’etudes politiques, and Hon. Robert EinhornSenior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, suggest ideas for further development of U.S.–Russian dialogue on arms control. The experts’ memos are published at PIR Center’s webpage as part of the activities of a Working Group on Strategic Stability and De-Escalation in U.S.-Russian Relations that PIR Center established in cooperation with Centre russe d’etudes politiques (Geneva, Switzerland) and James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey (the United States) in 2017.

The experts highlight the importance of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) and the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) for the arms control system. “The disruption of the INF and New START Treaties would certainly result in an arms race,” – points out Amb. Nazarkin. In his opinion, apart from addressing problems in arms control, the United States and Russia should also overcome other political disagreements to stabilize their relations. The expert emphasizes that anti-Russian campaign in Western media, the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA, and Ukrainian crisis destructively affect the relations between the two countries.

Yuri Nazarkin believes that in order to improve their relations, the United States and Russia need a strong positive impulse that can change the atmosphere from confrontation to cooperation. “At the time of confrontation between the United States and Russia, two summits – one in Geneva in 1985, and the other one in Reykjavik in 1986 – helped to change the atmosphere. Neither resulted in specific agreements, but they turned the developments for the better. Although President Trump is facing strong domestic pressure against any meetings with President Putin, this channel of communication should be maintained,” – says Amb. Nazarkin. 

In his memo, Robert Einhorn claims that the United States and Russia can achieve progress in arms controlonly through openness and concessions on both sides. First, they should conduct a series of mutual inspections in the framework of the INF Treaty to eliminate all existing suspicions. In his opinion, Russia should invite the U.S. military to theSSC-8 deployment sites and the United States, in its turn, should show Aegis Ashore sites in Poland and Romania to Russian inspectors. The countries also need to channel all their efforts to seek an early extension of the New START. 

The expert believes that arms control can become a driving force of the U.S.­–Russian relations: “It will be difficult to overcome some of today's serious challenges to the U.S.-Russian bilateral relationship, such as Ukraine, the resulting U.S. sanctions against Russia, and Russia's efforts to interfere with the U.S. election process. But arms control progress was made during similarly challenging conditions in the past, and arms control played a leading role in helping build a better overall bilateral relationship. Perhaps arms control can once again play such a role.”

For questions regarding the activities of the Working Group on Strategic Stability and De-Escalation in U.S.-Russian relations, please contact “Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation” Program Director Adlan Margoev by phone +7 (495) 987 19 15 or via e-mail margoev at pircenter.org

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