Policy Memos

Who is in Charge?: Russia Handles Arms Control Negotiations

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Russia has always considered arms control negotiations with the United States to be one of the most important elements of its foreign policy. Debates about strategic arms reductions and the future of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty have played a significant role in the U.S.-Russian relationship during the past decade. The importance of arms control is further underscored by the fact that Russian society and leadership traditionally pay serious attention to the role of the military in national security. Arms control negotiations, therefore, provide an opportunity to look at the relationships between various Russian political institutions in the process of decisionmaking involving two questions considered extremely important for Russia’s national security: relationships with the United States and the military aspects of national security.

This paper considers the interaction between Russian institutions over the course of negotiations leading to the conclusion of the Moscow Treaty on offensive reductions in May 2002, and attempts to draw conclusions about the role these institutions play in the decisionmaking process. [...]

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About the author

Director, Russian Nuclear Forces Project
Russian Nuclear Forces Project, Geneva; UN Institute for Disarmament Research; Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University