Chronology

The IAEA Voluntary Offer Agreement (with the participation of Euroatom) regarding the peaceful nuclear activities of Great Britain comes into force.
14.08.1978
The adoption of two Memorandums of the Zangger Committee. Memorandum A defined the source and special fissionable materials. Memorandum B gave the description of equipment or material designed to work with fissionable material.
14.08.1974
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PIR PRESS NEWS

13.07.2020

“In June, the US National Security Council was due to consider a draft decision on the revision of some elements of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). In particular, Washington wants to remove heavy attack and reconnaissance drones from the MTCR control list, which will allow American companies to supply them to “unstable” countries as well. The military-industrial complex is lobbying removal of some restrictions from the USA the most actively, and although no final decision on this issue has been reported, the consequences of such a step can be significant: the entire regime of international export control may be jeopardized” - this is the leitmotiv of the 524th issue of Yaderny Kontrol.

10.07.2020

The article analyzes NATO nuclear sharing arrangements and examines the history of the concept of nuclear sharing, based on archival documents, and its practical implementation at the present stage. The authors pay special attention to the positions of the countries in whose territory American tactical nuclear weapons are stored, as well as to the speeches of countries against nuclear sharing at the PrepComs of the Review Conference. In conclusion, recommendations for Russia in working on this issue are voiced.

09.07.2020

“Training in the morning frees rest of the day - this is our general rule,” – Irina Mironova, senior specialist at Gazprom, senior lecturer of international programs at European University at St. Petersburg, and Dmitry Kovchegin, independent consultant.

Executive summary

On May 15, 2020 PIR Center and the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at Monterey (CNS) co-hosted the third joint Track 2.5 seminar “U.S.-Russia Dialogue on the NPT Review Process: Ideas from Next Generation”. This time the seminar was held in the form of a videoconference, thus 34 participants, including young and major experts from Russia and the United States, managed to join the meeting being in 5 countries and 14 cities on 3 continents.

PIR Center`s Director Dr. Vladimir Orlov and CNS`s Director Dr. William Potter co-chaired the working group meeting. They inaugurated the videoconference and welcomed the participants and attendees.

The seminar consisted of 2 sessions:

• «U.S.-Soviet/Russia Cooperation and the NPT at 50: Taking Stock of Past and Present» (moderator – Ms. Yulia Sych, Educational Program Director, PIR Center);

• «Reviving U.S.-Russia Cooperation in the NPT Context: Looking Toward 2025» (moderator – Ms. Sarah Bidgood, Eurasia Nonproliferation Program Director, CNS).

The seminar participants – mainly students and graduates of the Dual Degree Master`s program ran by MGIMO, PIR Center and the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey (USA), as well as students of the Middlebury Institute – presented their research and together with major experts from two countries discussed the experience of bilateral cooperation between the USSR/Russia and the United States on nonproliferation, arms control and peaceful use of atomic energy issues over the past 50 years, joint efforts to prepare for the X NPT Review Conference and possibilities of cooperation during the next review cycle. The main questions of the meeting were what lessons could be learned from experience of the two countries' interaction, what could be applicable today and in the future.

During the discussion, the following issues were raised:

• In what ways was U.S.-Soviet engagement central to the establishment of the NPT and the nonproliferation regime?

• Was U.S.-Russia nuclear dialogue more productive in Cold War times and, if so, why?

• Why are the U.S. and Russia failing to address current challenges to the NPT today despite having been able to do so in the past?

• What were the most significant drivers for cooperation in the past, and in what ways are they different today?

• What are the potential consequences of the demise of U.S.-Russia cooperation within the NPT? 

• How can the United States and Russia most usefully collaborate in the leadup to the postponed 2020 NPT Review Conference?

• What lessons from past U.S.-Soviet cooperation on NPT issues can the U.S. and Russia apply during the next review cycle?

• What can the U.S. and Russia do to strengthen the NPT and enhance the prospects for a successful 2025 NPT RevCon?

• How can next generation experts contribute to this process?

Brief presentations were made by Ms. Grace Kier, Undergraduate Student, College of William and Mary, Mr. Nikita Degtyarev, Graduate Student, MIIS-MGIMO Dual Degree Program in WMD Nonproliferation, Mr. Sam Whitefield, Graduate Student, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Mr. Jeremy Faust, Graduate Student, MIIS-MGIMO Dual Degree Program in WMD Nonproliferation, Mr. Sergey Semenov, Graduate Student, MIIS-MGIMO Dual Degree Program in WMD Nonproliferation, Ms. Aubrey Means, Graduate Student, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Mr. Vladislav Chernavskikh, Graduate Student, MIIS-MGIMO Dual Degree Program in WMD Nonproliferation.

Mr. Andrey Baklitskiy, PIR Center Consultant, Ambassador Susan F. Burk (Ret.), Former Special Representative to the President of the United States for Nuclear Nonproliferation; Dr. Lewis Dunn, former U.S. Ambassador to the NPT Review Conference, Ms. Anita Friedt, Independent Consultant, Ms. Yuliya Katsenko, Postgraduate Student, the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Mr. Noah Mayhew, Research Associate, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP), Mr. Alexey Polyakov, Graduate Student, MIIS-MGIMO Dual Degree Program in WMD Nonproliferation, Mr. Albert Zulkharneev, PIR Center Consultant also contributed to the discussion.

Giving the concluding remarks, Co-Chairs Dr. Vladimir Orlov and Dr. William Potter thanked the participants for their comprehensive presentations, interesting comments and in-depth substantive discussion, as well as expressed their hope for being able to meet face-to-face soon and continue the dialogue on the sidelines of the upcoming NPT Review Conference.


SESSION I. U.S.-Soviet/Russia Cooperation and the NPT at 50: Taking Stock of Past and Present

The session was moderated by Ms. Yulia Sych, Educational Program Director, PIR Center. The participants were expected to answer the following questions:

• In what ways was U.S.-Soviet engagement central to the establishment of the NPT and the nonproliferation regime?

• Was U.S.-Russia nuclear dialogue more productive in Cold War times and, if so, why?

• Why are the U.S. and Russia failing to address current challenges to the NPT today despite having been able to do so in the past?

• What were the most significant drivers for cooperation in the past, and in what ways are they different today?

Ms. Grace Kier, Undergraduate Student, College of William and Mary, presented her research on the U.S.-Soviet NPT collaboration, countries’ shared drivers, and key cooperation. She went back historically, looking initials of the creation of the NPT and how ideologically opposed the USA and the Soviet Union came together to create the cornerstone of the nonproliferation regime.

It was posited that in past countries had shared motivations, trust, and also a sense of shared nuclear responsibility. For instance, they were both concerned that their allies procuring nuclear weapons. Shared motivations and cooperation throughout the NPT establishment were key for NPT creation.

The presenter stated that it is important to look at the lessons we can learn from the NPT development process and the negotiations process. It is crucial to understand how the two superpowers were so opposed to one another but were able to come together and create the cornerstone of the nonproliferation regime.

Mr. Nikita Degtyarev, Graduate Student, MIIS-MGIMO Dual Degree Program in WMD Nonproliferation, addressed the topic of NATO nuclear sharing arrangements, their past, and the present. He gave a brief story of this concept since 1953 when the United States committed nuclear weapons to NATO as a key measure to defense NATO states in Europe.

The position of the USA and the USSR on the issue during the Cold War was presented as well as the opposite positions of Russia and the USA on the issue at the present stage. Although in the short and medium-term, it is difficult to talk about any opportunities for dialogue about nuclear sharing, and it will stay one of many challenges in the area of nuclear nonproliferation and arms control, and in the dialogue between Russia and US, Mr. Degtyarev believes that if there are similar foreign policy goals of the two countries, they can agree (since, we know, once the USSR and the USA already managed to come to a consensus, discussing NATO’s nuclear policy). Possible ways to resolve/ease the dispute between countries were also given. 

Mr. Sam Whitefield, Mr. Sam Whitefield, Graduate Student, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, gave a presentation “1983 and 1985: Suspicion to Cooperation”, which was the last one during the 1st panel of the conference.

The presenter explained how in a context of high tension the U.S. and Soviet Union came to cooperation and the 1985 Review Conference was successful. Mr. Whitefield also drew a parallel to what is going today, during high tensions between the USA and Russia. The main lessons for 2020 (2021), we need to consider, are as follows:

● Change of leadership/change of ideas in the instances of high tensions

● Shared NPT Responsibility, avoiding failures are important

● Regular, high-level interaction

● Subordinate other interests to the nonproliferation regime

Mr. Andrey Baklitskiy, PIR Center, Consultant, referring to the presentation made by Mr. Nikita Degtyarev, made the following comment: In your studies have you looked into Soviet tactical nuclear weapons in the Warsaw pact and how this could play in this broader dynamics because if there was such an arrangement you would see, why Soviet Union would not be that interested pushing this issue, because there would be a counter push from the US side? And after that theme Russia withdrew all of its weapons to national territory, it would make sense that at this moment this issue would become more prominent, because Russia did it and the United States never did it in the end. So, have you seen anything about it, because there is a lot of circumstantial indirect evidence, for example, that Soviet Union was suppling dual-capable aircraft to the Warsaw pact and so on and so forth? Have you seen anything about this specific issue? Thank you.

Mr. Nikita Degtyarev replied that he slightly went through this information about Soviet policy and its nuclear tactical weapons during the existence of the Warsaw Pact. What Russia tries to say now is that since the Cold War is over and the international relations/environment is dramatically changed, that’s why we probably can’t analyze the current situation with tactical nuclear weapons from a perspective of Cold War situation. Both sides, Soviet and American, were fine with nuclear sharing, but since now the situation has changed, we need to look at it from a different perspective.  

Mr. Albert Zulkharneev, PIR Center, Consultant, also had his comment and a question regarding the presentation of Mr. Nikita Degtyarev: As I understand why the Soviet Union had not argued too much about nuclear sharing was that it’s better to have American nuclear weapons in Western Germany than German nuclear weapons in Western Germany. And the presence of American nuclear weapons in Europe was considered as an argument for nonproliferation in Europe or one of the motivations not to proliferate it in Europe. If now we bring this issue again, don’t you see any kind of new risks of proliferation, vertical or horizontal? There are different scenarios now in this US nuclear shield withdrawal from Europe. 

Mr. Nikita Degtyarev replied: First, I want to talk about motivation to other states to acquire nuclear weapons in a situation if the US will withdraw its nuclear weapons. Now we have the NPT treaty in force, and even if these US nuclear weapons will be removed, all countries, and European countries, also must follow the NPT treaty and according to it they can’t acquire such a weapon. Plus, we have a historical example of South Korea and Japan which are under the US nuclear umbrella and they don’t have the desire or motivation to acquire such a weapon. And about proliferation, for example, from France or UK which can take the US position in this sphere. I think it is good to mention that France, for example, is definitely against the idea of proliferation its nuclear weapons. France is the only country that doesn’t participate in the Nuclear Planning Group in NATO because they are negative about this. If we are talking about Great Britain, I think the number of nuclear weapons just doesn’t give an opportunity to this country to put its nuclear weapons somewhere in Europe. So, I in general do not think that the removal of US tactical nuclear weapons from Europe can create new proliferation risks. 

Mr. Noah Mayhew, Research Associate, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP), referring to the presentation made by Mr. Sam Whitefield, mentioned that in terms of the NPT review process and nonproliferation overall there are a lot of people who like to make the assumption that if new US president is elected next year relations in nonproliferation between US and Russia will be dramatically improved, but US-Russian relations were not in super great shape before Donald Trump entered office. He asked if Mr. Whitefield believes, and if so explains why, nonproliferation and the specific NPT process are more likely to be healthier and more successful if someone else is in the White House after Donald Trump.

Mr. Sam Whitefield replied with the following comment: When you know what the current situation looks like, it is in a sense hard to imagine things getting worse if you were to engage in some sort of change. I agree with you that the relationship between the US and Russia is rather tense at the moment. I think that the administration that is in place and the way it approaches issues like this play really large role and I’m very skeptical that Trump administration will have any sort of the change of heart or the squaring the circle that I talked about with the Reagan administration. That is not to say that it’s impossible, obviously in 1980 if u tell people that Ronald Reagan would be one of the all-time great presidents for arms control I don’t think people would agree with you, but I think flexibility that was demonstrated, his willingness to learn from what I think was a grave mistake, his willingness to find a way to make arms control priority and make it work and to empower the great civil servants that we have in this country, was really key to this process working out. I have not seen evidence of similar flexibility in the trump administration.

Ms. Anita Friedt, Independent Consultant, emphasized that US and Russia have very strong common interests in nonproliferation and arms control, we just are at a very difficult and challenging position right now. One of the greatest problems and challenges is the lack of ongoing dialogue, which we need to have an honest discussion of differences. There is still an opportunity and hope for great change.


SESSION II. Reviving U.S.-Russia Cooperation in the NPT Context: Looking Toward 2025

The session was moderated by Ms. Sarah Bidgood, Director of Eurasia Nonproliferation Program, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at Monterey. The participants were expected to address the following issues:

• What are the potential consequences of the demise of U.S.-Russia cooperation within the NPT?

• How can the United States and Russia most usefully collaborate in the leadup to the postponed 2020 NPT Review Conference?

• What lessons from past U.S.-Soviet cooperation on NPT issues can the U.S. and Russia apply during the next review cycle?

• What can the U.S. and Russia do to strengthen the NPT and enhance the prospects for a successful 2025 NPT RevCon?

• How can next generation experts contribute to this process?

Mr. Jeremy Faust, Graduate Student, MIIS-MGIMO Dual Degree Program in WMD Nonproliferation, made a case for unilateral arms reduction measures. In his judgement, prospects for US-Russia cooperation remain dim. Of particular concern are differences vis-à-vis Iran and JCPOA, Middle East WMD-Free Zone, counteraccusations regarding the INF, CTBT, Open Skies and lack of strategic stability dialogue, which at present leads to incompatible negotiating positions at present.

However, the crises in the bilateral relations are not without precedents. The atmosphere in 1991 precluded the conclusion of a formal agreement on non-strategic nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, the Presidential Nuclear Initiatives (PNIs) made reduction of 25,000 non-strategic nuclear weapons possible without a legally binding agreement, verification, or accounting mechanisms.

Based on the unilateral steps model, Mr. Faust said, US and Russia could cooperate on the following:

• Provide accounting of Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons removed from deployment and dismantled under PNIs

• Temper rhetoric where possible (both against one another and the TPNW)

• Pledge not to exceed New START deployment limits should the Treaty no be extended

• Report numbers for warheads awaiting dismantlement and military

• Increase dismantlement of non-deployed warheads and transfer excess fissile material to civilian control

Mr. Sergey Semenov, Graduate Student, MIIS-MGIMO Dual Degree Program in WMD Nonproliferation pointed out that the premium of the US-Russia relations should be placed on the preservation of what the two countries have today and interaction on seemingly routine issues, such as export controls or IAEA safeguards.

Moscow and Washington`s vision of what “a major success should look like” are quite divergent today, and it will certainly take years of constructive engagement to come to common ground. The U.S. idea of such a “grand scheme” comprises trilateral arms control, amended JCPOA-like instrument imposing more constraints on Iran and denuclearization of the DPRK. To give the devil his due these are decent objective, which, however, cannot justify derailing the instruments we already have in place, such as the New START Treaty or JCPOA. The preservation of status quo sounds closer to the Russian ambitions in this regard – and here I specifically refer to the Russian proposal to extend the New START Treaty for another five years, which will immensely contribute to the success of the NPT Review process in the coming years.

Should U.S. fail to extend the Treaty, U.S. and Russia can still, reaffirm their previous commitments, ensure they do not bring their controversies to the IAEA, NSG and other nonproliferation regime instruments, and take advantage of current and emerging platforms for a fruitful dialogue. Let me talk about each of these points in greater detail.

Firstly, there is a number of U.S.-Soviet agreements, which are still in force, but are not very well-known. Those include the 1973 Agreement on the Prevention of Nuclear War, which proclaimed that the US and the Soviet Union would make avoiding nuclear war the objective of their policies. In 1987-89 the two countries concluded a series of agreements establishing permanent channels for notification exchange. If Russia and the U.S. reaffirm their commitment to these instruments, it will make a positive impression within the NPT Review Process. A more ambitious objective is to reaffirm those within the P-5 framework, and the upcoming P-5 summit is a good opportunity for this.

Secondly, Russia and the U.S, should do their utmost so that existing nuclear nonproliferation mechanisms (first and foremost, IAEA) do not follow the suit of the OPCW, which is plagues by excessive politicization. The main risk here is that the Moreover, even in the current disgraceful political climate there is some room for constructive engagement on the issues of multilateral approaches to nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear security and, especially, its cyber aspects). Our countries may also find the common ground when it comes to discussing the nonproliferation impact of emerging technologies (such as Additive Manufacturing) and their inclusion into NSG or Wassenaar Arrangement Control Lists.

Thirdly, the formats for dialogue on nonproliferation and arms control issuers matter a lot, and the United States has been quite innovative in this domain, presenting the Creating Environment for Nuclear Disarmament initiative. Though formats may provide an opportunity for constructive engagement and enable participants, as Dr. Christopher Ford puts it, to point at each other`s ideas rather than point fingers at each other, it still remains to be seen whether CEND was created as a “talking shop” for publicity purposes or with a real intent to make progress.

That said, informal discussions cannot replace formal diplomacy, however boring or inefficient it may seem.  The non-nuclear weapon states have manifested their dissatisfaction with the state of affairs on nuclear disarmament and creating alternative platform just for the purposes of distracting public`s attention will only fuel that dissatisfaction. At the very least, Russia and the U.S. should agree to abstain from openly decrying each other`s action at the NPT RevCon and other propaganda-like statements. A more ambitious goal should be to consolidate the P-5 process. Should the New START not be extended, a P5 political commitment not to increase significantly their respective nuclear arsenals will help to create the environment for future cooperation.

Ms. Aubrey Means, Graduate Student, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey made a point that addressing climate change might provide a unique opportunity for US-Russia cooperation. In her assessment, both countries should care about the matter at stake because 79 US military sites are vulnerable to climate catastrophe, 23 being related to the US nuclear mission (~6000 warheads on-site). At the same time Russian military bases & civilian ports threatened by rising sea levels: Sevastopol, Vladivostok, Murmansk, etc.

Since nuclear power plants produce zero carbon emissions, the U.S. and Russia might cooperate on joint ventures in the NPP domain. This, in her opinion, will contribute to the two countries fulfillment of their Article IV obligations. Although there are commercial considerations at stake, there is a precedent of such cooperation. In 1970-s, after the 1974 “Smiling Buddha” nuclear test took nuclear suppliers by surprise, the two countries cooperated successfully at London Club meetings to address commercial interests AND nonproliferation obligations. Moscow and Washington should also take advantage of existing multilateral for a, such as P5 Process for Dialogue on cooperation on Article IV and MECRs to provide workshops, resources to be exported along with nuclear material/tech.

Mr. Vladislav Chernavskikh, Graduate Student, MIIS-MGIMO Dual Degree Program in WMD Nonproliferation spoke about the lessons from the past that could be applied to the US-Russia cooperation in the present. Those include:

• US-Russian cooperation during the Review Conference is one of the most important elements of success. Moscow and Washington usually sided together against the more disarmament-minded non-nuclear weapon states, resulting in a powerful negotiating force.

• Need for cooperation between the two and other NPT groupings.

• Diplomatic engagement outside of the NPT.

• Backing rhetoric on Article VI obligations should be backed up by concrete actions.

• High-level engagement creates an environment that is more conducive to positive results.

For the 2020 (2021) RevCon to succeed, he said, the following measures are needed:

1)       The expiration of New START should be mitigated. Moscow and Washington agree to retain the transparency measures included with the treaty (data exchanges), make public joint or coordinated unilateral commitments to stay under the New START numerical restrictions, expand and intensify Strategic Stability Dialogue, establish an expert working group to support further arms control.

2)       Reaffirm the Reagan-Gorbachev principle “A nuclear war cannot be won and therefore must never be fought”, complementing it with language referring to humanitarian consequences of use of nuclear weapons

3)       Adopt a no-polemics approach at the RevCon

At the same time the next-generation experts should:

1. Build connections
2. Gain experience, insight and practical skills to get into positions of influence
3. Civil society and academia can also exert great power over decisionmakers
4. Raise public awareness, promote disarmament education
5. Never lose sight of what’s important

Hereinbelow is an account of the Q&A session:

Mr. Andrey Baklitskiy, PIR Center, Consultant, referring to the presentation made by Mr. Jeremy Faust, mentioned that the U.S. and Russia have agreed to set up a working group dealing with space issues. Echoing the nuclear expenditure point, he admitted that that was an interesting standpoint, however, it should be remembered that nuclear forces are generally cheaper that the maintenance of significant conventional forces.

Mr. Alexey Polyakov, Graduate Student, MIIS-MGIMO Dual Degree Program in WMD Nonproliferation, wondered if the GICNT might be a good platform for US-Russia cooperation.

Amb. Susan Burk, Former Special Representative to the President of the United States for Nuclear Nonproliferation emphasized that earlier both the US and Russia shared the understanding the importance of the NPT, with the interaction between the depositary governments being pretty frequent. That interaction allowed the negotiators to build trust, which we unfortunately lack today. Her point was that nowadays the NWS were drifting towards a shared sense of complacency, taking the NPT for granted.

Ms. Yulia Katsenko, Postgraduate Student, the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), wondered if the Nann-Lugar program should be revived either in the bilateral or in multilateral format. Ms. Aubrey Means replied that in her view due to the political climate it is unlikely that something similar to the CTR program will be reinstalled.

You may download the executive summary here.

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