New Policy Memo: Why Russia Undermines the Norm of Nuclear Disarmament

20 Dec 2013

Russia is one of the founding fathers of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and continues to play a major role in its framework today. Together with the United States, Moscow plays an important role in keeping the regime intact, both preventing the emergence of new nuclear states and complying with its own obligations as a leading nuclear state to work toward gradual nuclear disarmament. This memo analyzes Russia’s position on this second issue, which has become the key element in Russian-American relations since the Barack Obama administration first proclaimed support for the idea of “nuclear zero.”

Like the United States, Russia formally accepts the principle enshrined in Article VI of the NPT: that signatories undertake “to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament.” Russia signed and ratified the New START Treaty that put new ceilings on nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles. It also claims to support the policy of “nuclear zero.” More recently, however, Moscow seems to have lost its enthusiasm for disarmament. [...]


View the Policy Memo Online | PDF