Relations between Russia and the West remain as fraught and tense as they were during the Cold War, with multiple points of friction and spheres of potential military confrontation – from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, in and around Ukraine, in outer space, and in cyberspace. At the same time, Russia and the United States have begun discussions on next steps in nuclear arms control. But how can Russia and the United States maintain verifiable limits on strategic nuclear warheads? How can both sides move swiftly and decisively to reduce strategic nuclear arsenals and avert a race in intermediate-range missiles? How can they extend arms control to include “tactical” nuclear weapons and make sure that missile defense systems do not undermine strategic stability? Under what conditions should additional nuclear weapon states be involved in nuclear arms control?
Against the background of the postponed NPT Review Conference, the outcome of discussions in the US-Russia Strategic Stability Dialogue, the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council and discussions in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Angela Kane, Daryl Kimball and Andrei Zagorski of the Deep Cuts Commission discussed these questions. The inputs were based on the Deep Cuts Commission Statement “How the U.S.-Russian Strategic Stability Dialogue Can and Must Make Progress”. Rüdiger Bohn, Deputy Federal Government Commissioner for Disarmament and Arms Control of the Federal Foreign Office commented from a German perspective on ways to make progress on nuclear arms control and disarmament.
The session was moderated by Oliver Meier, Senior Researcher at the IFSH Berlin office.