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21.08.2019

Amb. Roland Timerbaev – a luminary in the field of nonproliferation, an undisputed authority, a great teacher and mentor – has passed away.


27.06.2019

“Autonomous systems are gradually displacing humans from the battlefield, and in many aspects, this can be a boon to the military, who are exposed to less risk. However, at the same time, humans transfer to artificial intelligence (AI) a part of their powers, and consequently a part of their responsibility. According to experts, neural networks will probably never learn to explain their decisions to humans. This can become a serious problem once AI is involved in such areas as intelligence, data analysis, communications and control, scenario development, and in the long run decision making.” – Director of PIR Center’s Emerging Technologies and Global Security Project Vadim Kozyulin.

12.05.2019

“The latest prepcom has two main opposite results: in two weeks it was not possible to reach consensus among the NPT members and agree on the text of recommendations for the 2020 Review Conference, but it was decided to appoint Argentinean diplomat Rafael Mariano Grossi as the Chair of the Review Conference – his formal appointment will take place at the end of 2019," Adlan Margoev, PIR Center “Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation” Program Director. 

Concept of the project

CONCEPT OF RESEARCH PROJECT

 

“PROSPECTS OF RUSSIAN PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN THE NONPROLIFERATION AND NUCLEAR SECURITY FIELD”

 

In 2013 PIR Center realizes research project “Prospects of Russian participation in international cooperation in the field of WMD nonproliferation and nuclear security”. The final goal of the project is publication of expert recommendations regarding to the prospects of Russian participation in international cooperation in the nuclear field in Security Index journal in October 2013.

Russian participation in international cooperation mechanisms in nuclear security field becomes extremely actually because of recent Russian decisions about withdrawal from International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) and refusal to prolong Nunn-Lugar program. ISTC as international organization started its activity in 1994 after entering into force of Agreement Establishing an International Science and Technology Center which was signed by EU, Russia, US and Japan. Nunn-Lugar program started after signing of Agreement between the United States of America and the Russian Federation Concerning the Safe and Secure Transportation, Storage and Destruction of Weapons and Prevention of Weapons Proliferation of June 17, 1992.

During two decades ISTC and Nunn-Lugar program determined the framework of Russian participation in international cooperation in the field of nonproliferation weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and nuclear security. Much time has passed from the establishing ISTC and Nunn-Lugar program. Currently these mechanisms don’t correspond to modern realities.

However Russian withdrawal from ISTC and refusal to prolong Nunn-Lugar program could lead to Russian isolation and losing of advantages which are provided by county’s participation in international cooperation in the field of nonproliferation and nuclear security. Hence after withdrawal from ISTC and refusal to prolong US-Russian cooperation of June 17, 1992 Russian expert community should elaborate new frameworks of international cooperation which would correspond to modern realities and Russian interests.

However already now it is clear that before the end of Nunn-Lugar program in June 2013 Russia and the United States will not be able to elaborate new agreement about bilateral cooperation in the nuclear field. The situation around Russian withdrawal from ISTC is also uncertain (withdrawal procedure will finish in 2015).

This uncertainty harms to the Russian interests as well as to the interests of western countries. These countries understand that Russian specialists accumulated great experience in the settlement of nuclear security and nonproliferation problems. So without this experience it would be very difficult to solve similar problems in third countries.

These third countries include countries of Central Asia, Middle East, South-East Asia (SEA), and Africa.

The Central Asia faces unsolved problem of Soviet nuclear legacy. It is difficult to settle these problems in conditions of lack funding and especially absence of qualified experts. Here assistance of Russian nuclear scientists is very necessary.

Some Middle East and North African countries, especially Iraq and Libya, face with the similar nuclear security problems. Taking into account Russian experience of cooperation with these countries during Soviet time we can say that Russian specialists could provide very necessary assistance to these countries in the settlement of nuclear security and chemical weapon destruction problems. In Iraq and Libya Russia and USA could jointly realize projects of redirection of weapon scientists (nuclear physics, chemists, and biologists).

The South-East Asia countries don’t have major problems in nuclear field, but these problems can arise in the near future because of ambitious plans of these countries to develop nuclear energy in spite of absence of qualified specialists and necessary infrastructure. In some of these countries (for instance, in Indonesia and Vietnam) there are numerous radioactive sources, which should be eliminated or secured. In this field Russian experts’ experience in decision of similar problems and trainings of nuclear scientists would be also very necessary.

Russian participation in nuclear projects in third countries is profitable to everybody. Western countries are interested in Russian experts’ assistance in eliminating WMD-terrorism risks in third countries. These third countries need Russian assistance in a settlement of environmental problems which are connected with activity in nuclear field. Finally Russia itself will win from participation in nuclear projects in third countries because this will help to strengthen positions in Central Asia, resume influence in the Middle East and open new big nuclear markets in SEA countries.

So the most countries of the world including Russia are still highly interested in Russian participation in international cooperation in the nuclear field. There are no disagreements between all interested parties regarding to necessity of elaboration of new US-Russian bilateral and multilateral agreements with Russian participation relating to cooperation in nuclear field and taking into account new realities and Russian interests.

In this situation proposing of new ideas from the experts is extremely important. Experts have the unique opportunity to elaborate recommendations regarding to possible variants of substitution Agreement of June 17, 1992 by new treaty. These recommendations could have been presented to presidents of US and Russia by the G20 summit in September 2013.

With a view to elaborate expert recommendations on these issues PIR Center established Working Group on prospects of Russian participation in international cooperation in the sphere of nonproliferation and nuclear security. This working group primarily consists of Russian experts who should study Russian interests regarding to participation in international cooperation in nuclear field. The result of Working Group activity should be realization of PIR Center research project “Prospects of Russian participation in international cooperation in the field of nonproliferation and nuclear security” and publication of expert recommendations in October 2013 in Security Index journal which is issued by PIR Center.

The Working group consists of 8-10 experts. The experts’ task is to hold discussions during their meetings in Moscow and prepare analytical articles, comments, and interviews on the issues of Russian interests and international cooperation in the field of nonproliferation and nuclear security.

The Working group should gather on two meetings in March and July 2013 for discussion of main points of research and holding expert discussions on the issue of Russian participation in international cooperation in the nuclear field. Materials of Working Group meetings will be published in Security Index journal.

The first Working group meeting tооk place on March 28, 2013. During the meeting the following issues were discussed:

1.                           Results of Russian participation in the ISTC: assessment of achievements, problems and lessons for the future;

2.                           Problem of establishing new international cooperation mechanisms with Russian participation after Russian withdrawal from the ISTC;

3.                           Completion of the Nunn-Lugar program: results and prospects;

4.                           Prospects of the US-Russian cooperation on implementation of nuclear projects in the third countries in the context of expanding Global Partnership against the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction;

5.                           Prospects for the US-Russian cooperation in organization of joint trainings and seminars for improving nonproliferation and nuclear security culture of nuclear scientists from the third countries (in Central Asia, South Caucasus, Middle East, South-East Asia);

6.                           Opportunities for the US-Russian cooperation in the field of preventing WMD-terrorism threat including the issues of:

  • US-Russian joint chairmanship in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT)
  • Joint assessment of cyber threats for nuclear facilities security
  • Countering the WMD-terrorism financing and proliferation within the framework of existing FATF decisions

7.                           Using experience of other US-Russian cooperation programs (in particular, in the field of space exploration) for creation of a new cooperation mechanisms in the field of nuclear security and WMD nonproliferation.

All Working group members are supposed to prepare to this first meeting policy memos on previously agreed topics. These policy memos would be discussed during the discussion and then they would be updated by group members for the publication in Security Index Journal.

Within the framework of the second Working group meeting on June 19 2013 group members discussed results of group activity and coordinated the further working plan. Working group's Study "The Prospect for International Cooperation in WMD Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security" was presented in Moscow on October 3, 2013.

For all questions concerning Working group activity please contact PIR Center Research Fellow Alexander Cheban, tel.: +7 (495) 987-19-15, fax: +7 (495) 987-19-14, email:cheban@pircenter.org

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