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The immense majority of countries and peoples stand for a nuclear-weapons-free world. The Russian Federation shares this noble goal.

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The fast moving controversial developments in the Middle East and North Africa seem to be sidelining the search for responses to some fundamental security challenges in the region. This refers, among many other issues, to the discussion of steps for the preparation and successful conduct of this yea...

Dear Tom,

It is a pleasure to have the chance to correspond with you, and I am grateful to the Security Index for this exchange. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on whether a policy of nuclear disarmament is appropriate within the current international security climate.

For my part, I a...

American and European proponents of reducing non-strategic, or tactical, nuclear weapons, NSNW (especially those belonging to Russia) have stepped up their rhetoric in the past couple of years. The new NATO Strategic Concept, which was adopted at the Lisbon summit in November 2010, and the Senate re...

In the first issue of the Yaderny Kontrol in November 1994 we published an interview headlined “Nine Questions on Nuclear Nonproliferation” with Gennady Evstafiev, who served at the time as head of the disarmament and WMD nonproliferation department of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR)....

Seminar on "The Future of Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons in Europe: Problems and Solutions" 28.02.2012

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland

On February 28, 2012 PIR Center with generous support from the MFA of Finland held a half-day seminar on “The Future of the Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons in Europe: Problems and Solutions” with more than 40 participants – representative of Russian expert community, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense. The seminar was held in Moscow.

Related materials (in Russian):

- Agenda

- Speakers' Bios

- Discussion as published in the Security Index journal №3-4 (102-103), 2012

High Representative of the United Nations for Disarmament Affairs, Sergio Duarte sent his greeting to participants of seminar. He thanked PIR Center and the Embassy of Finland in Moscow for organizing seminar on nonstrategic nuclear weapons and wished the participants successful and fruitful work.

In his speech Evgeny Buzhinsky, noted: “The main reason why Russia still needs to have long-range nonstrategic nuclear weapons is that the United States and NATO enjoy a substantial superiority over Russia in high-precision, long-range conventional weapons. The Russian leadership is taking steps to address that imbalance by acquiring a similar conventional capability. In the meantime it has to rely on the limited use of nuclear weapons of comparable range.”

At the same time, General Buzhinsky supposed that there still was an opportunity for confidence building between Russia and theUnited States concerning nonstrategic nuclear weapon:  

  • Greater transparency. As a first significant step, Russia and the United States could release official information about their NSNW numbers and the numbers of tactical nuclear munitions now awaiting their turn to be dismantled;
  • Separation of warheads and delivery systems. As a confidence-building measure, the two sides could agree on the text of official statements announcing that their nuclear weapons are being stored separately from the delivery systems and that neither side intends to change the existing state of affairs;
  • Russia and the United States could conduct joint assessment of the risk of terrorists gaining access to nuclear weapons storage facilities and stealing the warheads; conduct joint assessment of measures to strengthen the security of nuclear weapons storage facilities; continue the practice of conducting joint exercises on the prevention of theft of nuclear weapons or fissile materials;
  • A commitment not to increase the stockpiles. As a first step towards limiting their NSNW stockpiles Russia and the United States could announce that they will not increase these stockpiles.

Anatoli Diakov, Chief Research Scientist at the Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies, stated in his speech that there were no indications for starting negotiations on nonstrategic nuclear weapons between Russia and the United States today.  However, in spite of this fact, countries could work together on the question: “Both sides will eventually decrease the number of their strategic and tactical warheads. They will need verification measures. Both sides could continue to work on development of transparency measures as it was in 1990-s.  In the spirit of good will, the governments could request nuclear laboratories to continue this work. We have an agreement on plutonium disposition. Currently group of American and Russian experts together with IAEA started discussing verification process and disposition of weapons-grade plutonium. This problematic could be extended, because there is a need to prove that weapons-grade plutonium has really originated from utilized nuclear weapons. There still are a lot of opportunities for a joint work in this sphere.”

Vladimir Zakharov, Chief Research Scientist, Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, Mikhail Kustovsky, First Secretary of Security and Disarmament Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Alexander Kolbin, “Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation” Program Coordinator, also made reports and comments during the seminar. The whole discussion was published in №3-4 (102-103) 2012 issue of the Security Index journal (Russian Edition) in the Round Table format. 

For all questions related to the PIR Center "Ways towards Nuclear Disarmament" Project please refer to Mr. Alexander Kolbin at phone: +7 (495) 987-19-15, fax +7 (495) 987-19-14, email: [email protected] 

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