The 'P5' meetings produced a forum for interesting discussions and constructive general documents, but failed to achieve the principal stated goal: engagement of third nuclear weapon states in the process of nuclear arms limitations and reductions. It looks like there is no prospect of reaching this goal in the future for reasons beside the negative political environment, brought by the Ukrainian crisis of 2013-2014. Even in case of political resolution of the current crisis and improved international environment, the 'P5' format does not seem promising for the task assigned to it.
In his paper, Alexey Arbatov analyzes the origins and achievements of the 'P5' process, questions the basic assumptions underlying the process, assesses the chances for engaging Britain, France, and China in nuclear reductions, and gives a number of recommendations for enhancing the process.
About the Author
Alexey Arbatov is the Head of the Center for International Security at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations and a scholar in residence with the Carnegie Moscow Center’s Nonproliferation Program.