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.
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.
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.