RUSSIA AND NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
One of the most important tasks in the field of international security is to free the world from the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction. Russia is constantly advocating for further limitations and reductions of nuclear weapons stockpiles along with strengthening international regimes of arms control and non-proliferation. One of the examples in the field of nuclear disarmament is the Russia-US new START Treaty, which entered into force in 2011. Under this Treaty, the sides committed themselves to limiting their nuclear arsenals by one third compared to the previous agreements.
Further dialogue on nuclear disarmament, held both bilaterally or internationally, could only be successful if the core principle of international security is observed, i.e. that the security of one country should not be strengthened at the expense of another. Unfortunately, what is happening now at the international scene is a far cry from what the international community was striving for. Among other things that affect global stability and deterrence, the trust between Russia and the West is diminishing. Some of the critical Russian concerns are left unaddressed.
They include an unconditional resolve of our partners to build systems of ballistic missile defence throughout the world, primarily in Europe, reluctance to engage in a serious dialogue on issues related to the Russian initiative on prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space, an ongoing uncontrolled build-up of conventional weapons along with the efforts to develop such systems that can deliver a precision-guided conventional weapons airstrike anywhere in the world within one hour, known as Prompt Global Strike. It is also worth mentioning that disparity in conventional weapons in Europe is increasing, something that, par consequent, provokes an unnecessary arms race on the continent.
Further nuclear disarmament would be impossible without all countries with corresponding potential being involved in that process. It can’t exclusively rely on the efforts by Russia and the US. For that to happen, a greater importance should also be attached to an earliest ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Some state parties to it, including the US, have still not ratified it, blocking its entry into force. Signing and ratifying the CTBT should become an imperative of contemporary international relations for it will contribute to the strengthening of the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
Global stability and nuclear deterrence remain the facts that we have to live with. Without trust and consensus the current challenges in the field of nuclear disarmament are doomed to persist for a foreseeable future. Hopefully, the time will come, rather sooner than later, when nuclear disarmament issues are properly addressed based on the respect and trust among nations.