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Nonstrategic nuclear weapons: Can Russia and the West agree?

02.07.2014

MOSCOW, JULY 2, 2014. PIR PRESS – “Even a moderate attitude to the issue of control of nonstrategic nuclear weapons is likely to fail without restoring the atmosphere of trust between the two parties and without sincere effort on the USA/NATO part to admit and discuss Russian concerns that cause its current tough stance toward the issue”, - says military analyst Alexander Kolbin.

Russia regards nonstrategic nuclear weapons (NSNW) as a military tool to compensate the conventional superiority of its neighbors, to enhance its armed forces and to control potential escalation in the armed conflict. Moreover, Russia regards its NSNW as a deterrent for third countries with nuclear capability and delivery systems capable of reaching the territory of Russian Federation. In the current context Russian NSNW guaranties state independence and territorial integrity in case of serious regional conflict, writes military analyst Alexander Kolbin.

The article “Nonstrategic nuclear weapons: is Europe ready for confidence-building measures and transparency?” will be published in the Security Index journal, №2 (109), Summer 2014, and is already available at the PIR Center website (in Russian).

According to Alexander Kolbin, the current position of Russian officials on NSNW control makes the possibility of any talks or consultations on the topic unlikely until 2018 (the end of period of nuclear reductions, defined in the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty). The USA will most likely leave its NSNW in Europe, while Russia will withhold the data on its arms in current decade from the western partners. At the same time most of the Russian preconditions for the start of talks on NSNW seem to be political rather than military, which provides the space for political dialogue and cooperation.

“Even a moderate attitude to the issue of control of nonstrategic nuclear weapons is likely to fail without restoring the atmosphere of trust between the two parties and without sincere effort on the USA/NATO part to admit and discuss Russian concerns that cause its current tough stance toward the issue”, – says Alexander Kolbin.

PIR Center closely follows the issue of NSNW within the Ways towards Nuclear Disarmament project.

For further information regarding publications and subscription to the Security Index Journal as well as advertising in the journal, please, call: +7 (495) 987 1915; fax: + (495) 987 1914

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