Back from the Brink: Toward Restraint and Dialogue between Russia and the West

Relations between Russia and the West have fallen to an historic low. Hopes for sustained and comprehensive cooperation have dimmed significantly. Competition and selective cooperation is the new normal. The prime objective for the next few years should be limiting the potential for dangerous military incidents that can escalate out of control. Russia and the West must come back from the brink. They need to better manage their conflictual relationship. Restraint and dialogue are now needed more than ever. The third report of the Deep Cuts Commission recommends the West and Russia to build on a number of existing arms control and confidence-building measures in order to avoid further exacerbation of the situation. It contains fifteen key recommendations and identifies a number of additional measures, which could help to address the most acute security concerns in Europe – particularly in the Baltic area – and increase U.S.-Russian nuclear transparency and predictability.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pdf-icon Download Report (English)

Download Report (Russian)

pdf-icon Download Recommendations (English)

Download Recommendations (Russian)

 

 

“This report contains a number of bold proposals on how to better manage relations between the West and Russia in order to avert worst-case scenarios. Specifying that cooperative solutions are possible without giving up on the fundamental interests of each side, it warrants a close look by officials in both Moscow and Washington.”

-- William J. Perry, former United States Secretary of Defense
 
“The Third Report of the Deep Cuts Commission addresses one of the core international problems of our times – how to handle the nuclear legacy of the 20th century in the modern age. During the Cold War nuclear deterrence played an important stabilizing role, but this role cannot last forever. The world is changing in front of our eyes and the change involves our basic technologies, political practices and social institutions alike. The nuclear arms control mechanisms should not lag behind these changes; on the contrary, it should preempt emerging threats and challenges. The Third Report of the Deep Cuts Commission is an important and timely step in the right direction.”
 
-- Igor Ivanov, former Foreign Minister of Russia
 
“I would like to congratulate the Deep Cuts Commission for its work. I support the conclusions contained in their Third Report as a voice of reason which, hopefully, will also be heard at the upcoming NATO Summit in Warsaw. It is a good sign that joint U.S.-Russian-German security policy projects, such as this report, are still possible these days.”
 
-- Volker Rühe, former Federal Minister of Defence of Germany
 
“Since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis in 2014, military postures in the common border area of Russia and NATO in Europe have developed a dangerous action reaction dynamic. Set against the last fifteen years of escalating tension, deteriorating trust and confidence and an absence of high level communication between Russia and the West, there are genuine concerns. In particular, there is an urgent concern about the possibility of an unintended escalation leading to a further and dramatic deterioration of security in the Euro-Atlantic space, an area with over 95% of the world’s nuclear arsenal. It is crucially important therefore that, in these circumstances and in the wider setting of common 21st Century threats emanating from beyond that space, we find a way to maintain co-operation between Russia and the West. The analysis and recommendations of this Report identify a number of practical co-operative steps that can be taken to safely negotiate these troubled times. Its emphasis on restraint and dialogue is particularly welcome. It is timely and deserves serious consideration.”
 
-- Des Browne, Lord Browne of Ladyton, former Secretary of State for Defence
 
“Absurdly, East and West have again drifted dangerously close to the brink of confrontation. NATO and Russia must urgently move from military body language to the language of diplomacy and détente. This report gives highly constructive and prudent advice how it can be done.”
 
-- Hans Blix, former Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs
 
Relations between Russia and the West are at a low point, but we must keep on trying to improve them through restraint and dialogue, the latest report by the Deep Cuts Commission convincingly argues. The report lays out important steps to strengthen the arms control regime and to reduce the risk of military accidents and unintended escalation. Decision-makers on both sides should consider these recommendations carefully and thoroughly. This is urgent!”
 
-- Wolfgang Ischinger, Ambassador, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference
 
 

Strengthening Stability in Turbulent Times

The Ukraine crisis and broader deterioration in West-Russia relations pose acute threats of unintended clashes between Russian and NATO military forces and continue to deflate hopes for significant near-term progress in nuclear arms control. At the same time, arms control is key to avoiding undesirable and unintended consequences of current tensions. In order to achieve a verified termination of the violent conflict in Ukraine and arrest the slide of NATO and Russia toward a potentially more dangerous situation, it will be necessary to employ a broad set of arms control and confidence-building measures in several areas. This report concentrates on the nuclear and conventional arms control issues that must be addressed to contain unintended spill-over effects from the current crisis on the broader European region and on nuclear stability at the global level. It contains fifteen key recommendations and identifies a number of additional measures, which could foster confidence in and maintain focus on the goal of further nuclear disarmament. A Russian version of the report is out now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pdf-icon Download Report (English)

Download Report (Russian)

pdf-icon Download Recommendations (English)

Download Recommendations (Russian)

 

Preparing for Deep Cuts: Options for Enhancing Euro-Atlantic and International Security

Four years after the conclusion of the New START Treaty, the United States and Russia continue to maintain nuclear arsenals far exceeding the requirements for deterrence. Even before the current tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine and Crimea, differences over other security questions had stymied progress on further nuclear arms cuts. It nevertheless remains important that policymakers in Washington, Moscow and European capitals continue to explore ideas for promoting greater stability and predictability at lower levels of armaments. The 21-member U.S.-Russian-German Deep Cuts Commission has formulated proposals to achieve further arms control and nuclear risk reduction to enhance national, Euro-Atlantic and international security.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pdf-icon Download Report (English)
pdf-icon Download Report (Russian)
pdf-icon Download Addendum (English)
pdf-icon Download Addendum (Russian)
pdf-icon Download Recommendations (English)
pdf-icon Download Recommendations (Russian)