Features of the Russia-US dialogue on ACNPD issues during the Clinton administration


MOSCOW, NOVEMBER 11, 2020. PIR-PRESS. “The documents declassified by the Clinton Presidential Library are a unique source that allows to get acquainted with the history and evaluate cooperation of the two leaders and their aspirations in the field of nonproliferation”, – PIR Center intern Evgeny Kholodnov.

От October 28 the PIR Center and the Institute of Contemporary International Studies at the Diplomatic Academy held a joint event within the framework of the Midweek Brainstorming sessions. At the seminar, student of the St Petersburg University MA program “Strategic and Arms control Studies” Evgeny Kholodnov presented his research paper “Features of the Russian-American dialogue on arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation during the Clinton administration (based on archival documents)”, which he wrote during his four-months internship at the PIR Center. Vladimir Orlov, Director of the PIR Center, was his research supervisor.

The paper examines the features of the Russia-US dialogue on:
  • Removal of nuclear weapons from the territory of Ukraine, and military and political cooperation between Russia and Iran;
  • Cooperation within the framework of the HEU-LEU Agreement and the Nunn-Lugar Program;
  • The NPT agenda and CTBT’s entry into force.

For his research paper, the intern analyzed telcons and memcons between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin that were declassified in 2018 and cover the period from 1993 to 1999, articles written by foreign and Russian scientists and experts such as Vadim Kozyulin, David Fischer, Evgeny Maslin and others. During his speech, Evgeny Kholodnov drew attention to the special “friendliness” in relations between the two presidents, which was sometimes characterized by excessive openness on the part of Boris Yeltsin.

Nevertheless, the cooperation between Russia and the United States in this period, especially in the context of the Megatons to Megawatts and Nunn-Lugar programs, and the solution of the “Ukrainian issue” was assessed as very effective and successful. Evgeny Kholodnov also drew attention to the fact that in order to conduct a successful political course, it is necessary to maintain the unity of the political and economic components of foreign policy, which was especially noticeable in the examples of Iran and the Megatons to Megawatts Program. In conclusion, the intern noted that, despite all the differences, the dialogue between the leaders of the two countries in general was successful.

The participants of the meeting considered the proposed paper as a serious contribution to the study of Russian-American relations on arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation and recommended that the topic should be developed further.

The work, which is about to be finalized based on experts' comments, will be included in the PIR Center's forthcoming monograph on the history of Russian-American cooperation on arms control and nuclear nonproliferation. Among the authors there are well-known experts with decades of experience, as well as young experts in the field of nonproliferation. According to Nikita Degtyarev, Сoordinator of the PIR Center Information & Publications Program, at a time of significant deterioration in bilateral relations, such a retrospective view reminds that Moscow and Washington can and should cooperate on key issues of global security.

For questions related to PIR Center's educational projects, you may contact the Educational Program Director Yulia Sych by email [email protected], tel.+7 (499) 940 09 83.