For the UN to continue to be truly indispensable, international officials and national governments, members of the academic elite and civil society leaders will have to reach consensus on the way ahead, avoiding over-ambitious plans, but also half-measures portrayed as full-fledged reforms.
With the latest protracted nosedive in U.S.-Russia relations, when areas of cooperation have continued to shrink, it is beneficial to reflect on historically constructive joint endeavors, such as the cooperation between the two countries’ nuclear weapon laboratories (“lab-to-lab cooperation”).
On July 14, 2015, the United States, Russia, China, France, UK, Germany, the European Union and Iran concluded the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the “Iran deal,” with the goal of ending the standoff over the Iranian nuclear program.
It’s easy to criticize the Nobel Peace Prize, for incontestable decisions are few and far between in its history. This prize is a political barometer and an indicator of the state of affairs in the world.
There is no doubt that the international nuclear non-proliferation regime entered a new phase in May 2015. The situation has worsened, and it will be more and more difficult and expensive to correct it. The cooling of international relations will make the NPT situation extremely fragile.
Two important anniversaries celebrating major diplomatic accomplishments are marked in the summer and fall of 2015 – the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Organization and the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act. The former laid the foundation for the postwar world order; the latter formalized its core element – the European order.
One of the global security consequences of the current Ukrainian crisis is the visibly raising ‘nuclear fears’ in both political elites and wider public opinion among the world. There are various dimensions of such fears.
Nunn-Lugar should be replaced with a new Russian-American program that should involve fewer projects and less funding. Let us call it New Partnership. Its main principle should be equality, rather than patronizing through money infusions from donors.
The general environment of U.S.-Russian relations up to 2020 will remain conflict-prone, especially as Russia and the United States lack a complex of stabilizing economic ties, like those in U.S.-Chinese relations. The nuclear missile parity remains the sole stabilizer.
The Cuban Missile Crisis marked a turning point in the debate in the U.S. policy-making community over whether the nuclear war was winnable.
Whatever happens, responsible citizens must ensure that the country continue existing in any era and even in a world where things do not go better. Sad as it may seem, today nuclear weapons are the only possible and attainable attribute of the status of a great world power for Russia – even if one would like very much to believe that it is not so.
The role of nuclear weapons in ensuring the status and security of the Russian Federation seems to be over-exaggerated. It was the over-reliance on the nuclear potential (and military might in general) that finally ruined the Soviet Union, as it deprived it of an incentive to carry out a profound political and economic modernization. Russia must not repeat that mistake of relying too much on nuclear weapons as a guarantee of security and international prestige.
The success of the 2010 NPT Review Conference is a step forward towards strengthening the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. Although it is a modest step, it is nonetheless significant, as it has reaffirmed the vitality and viability of the NPT.
The ongoing changes in the international arena are becoming ever faster and bigger.
The anti-nuclear movement is harmful. Firstly, it may result in the reduction of nuclear armaments to a dangerous minimum, as it opens the Pandora’s Box of negotiations over the reduction of non-strategic nuclear armaments. Secondly, it distracts from the search for new ways of setting peace and stability in the new world.
The world system is in motion, and relations between countries are changing rapidly, as evidenced by the current developments in the post-Soviet space.
At a roundtable event in Moscow, top experts debated the “hypocritical” and “insincere” foreign policies of both Russia and the West in the post-Cold War era.
Vladimir Putin has mentioned several times that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a geopolitical mistake. Although these words were often interpreted as his desire to constitute that country, there is little reason to believe this.
The April 16 referendum will focus on power distribution rather than institution building. In other words, the organizers saw it as an opportunity to expand the President’s powers and allow him to rule longer. In their turn, Turks perceived it as an institutional choice to contribute to the development of the state.
If the larger picture defies prediction, the immediate future is scarcely more transparent. In the U.S. case, the known unknowns are numerous. They begin with the question of how much deck furniture Trump is willing to overturn in order to pursue an “America First” strategy.
In the wake of the For Fair Elections protest movement in Russia in 2011-2012, the Kremlin initiated a new strategy of state-society relations that was aimed at diminishing the propensity for protest in the next election cycle.
Belarus’ traditional structural dependence on Russia is increasing, and Minsk’s freedom of maneuver continues to shrink.