Category Archives: Nuclear, Missile Defense

A Vicious Circle: The More Aggressive Putin Is, the More Russians Love Him

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 29, 2015) Russian polls, admittedly not the most reliable source, suggest that the more aggressive Vladimir Putin is, the more Russians love and support him regardless of the immediate impact of his policies on their lives, a vicious circle that history suggests could lead to a disaster especially given Moscow’s possession […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times/James Cartwright & Vladimir Dvorkin: How to Avert a Nuclear War

Nuclear Mushroom Cloud

We find ourselves in an increasingly risky strategic environment. The Ukrainian crisis has threatened the stability of relations between Russiaand the West, including the nuclear dimension — as became apparent last month when it was reported that Russian defense officials had advised President Vladimir V. Putin to consider placing Russia’s nuclear arsenal on alert during last year’s crisis in Crimea.

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NEWSWATCH AUDIO National Public Radio: New START Nuke Deal With Russia May Be Aging – But It’s Not Over

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

NPR covers U.S.-Russian nuclear arms control and assessments of New START. ‘ [click here for transcript – click here for article – audio follows below] Five years ago, another big nuclear deal was being signed … known as the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) … its aim … simple: to limit the number of nuclear weapons the United States and Russia have pointed at […]

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Fight Over Ukraine Darkens Future of Russia-U.S. Nuclear Arms Control

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – April 8, 2015) The rhetoric of the Ukraine crisis has amplified long-standing apprehensions in Moscow and Washington and halted progress on arms control for the time being. Five years after the United States and Russia signed the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty, the spirit in which it was signed is dead. […]

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New Cold War conditions imperil global nuclear security

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – April 7, 2015) As a result of the chill in relations between Moscow and Washington over Russia’s involvement in the Ukrainian crisis, Russia has already left the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, and the future of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces and START treaties hangs in doubt. How serious a threat do these developments […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: As Tensions With West Rise, Russia Increasingly Rattles Nuclear Saber. Bellicose rhetoric has soared since start of Ukraine conflict to rival Cold War levels

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

Amid the wave of bellicose rhetoric that has swelled in Moscow since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, officials as high up as President Vladimir Putin have been making open nuclear threats, a public saber-rattling with weapons of mass destruction largely unseen even in the days of the Cold War. Remarks about Russia’s nuclear strength play well to Mr. […]

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NEWSLINK ReadRussia: How Not to Influence People. Russia’s “tough” posturing just makes it look ridiculous

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear missiles” isn’t the most intuitive headline in the world. Indeed it sounds like something from a parody magazine or from a clumsy remake of Dr. Strangelove. If Denmark is famous for anything (a contentious proposition, but indulge me) it’s precisely because it is inoffensive and non-threatening. It’s a small, rich, tolerant country sandwiched between Germany […]

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Military specialists advised using all means of deterrence in ‘Crimean Spring’ – documentary

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Interfax – March 16, 2015) Some military specialists suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin should have used all means of deterrence in the Crimea situation but Putin declined to do so, it was said in a documentary, Crimea – Return to the Motherland, aired by the Rossiya-1 channel on Sunday. “We were told by the Defense Ministry later that certain […]

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Russia left without ballistic missile early warning system

File Image of Earth Orbit and Asteroids

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – February 13, 2015) The launch of Russia’s first Unified Space System satellite Tundra has been delayed until June 2015 for technical reasons, Russian business daily Kommersant has reported, citing sources in the space industry and Russia’s Defense Ministry. The satellite was due to enter orbit in 2013 and replace the outmoded OKO-1 satellites. […]

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From a Munich in Moscow to a Munich in Minsk — How Europe has Come to Putin’s Aid

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 12, 2015) In the 1930s, Hitler pursued a simple policy: he simply said one thing and did another. Putin has innovated: he not only lies but uses forces to do his bidding for which no one holds him responsible and thus has the chance to be accepted by some in the […]

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Russians Say They Fear Hunger, Unemployment and Nuclear War

Nuclear Mushroom Cloud

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – January 30, 2015) A recent state poll asking Russians about their fears has laid bare a telling change in attitudes: more than double the number of respondents said they feared a nuclear war compared to two years ago. Russia’s deteriorating relations with the West and the economic turmoil that followed sanctions imposed […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Russia to safeguard its own nuclear facilities without American help

Radioactivity Symbol

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Galiya Ibragimova, special to RBTH- January 27, 2015) Russia has decided to safeguard its own nuclear facilities without the help of the United States. However, Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom has said in a statement that Moscow is willing to continue cooperating with Washington on global nuclear security. Moscow has announced that it will […]

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Interfax: Russia’s Rosatom ready to continue nuclear safety cooperation with US

Radioactivity Symbol

(Interfax – Moscow, January 22, 2015) Russia and the United States will continue cooperation in global nuclear safety in 2015. According to a press release by the state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, the sides have special responsibility for ensuring the safety and security of nuclear materials, preventing them from falling into the hands of terrorist organizations and ensuring their reliable […]

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Putin Signs New Military Doctrine: Core Elements Unchanged

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 12, Issue 2 – Roger McDermott – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – January 6, 2015) President Vladimir Putin has introduced a new Military Doctrine in the context of the Ukraine crisis, deteriorating relations with the United States, the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as well as shifts within the international security environment. […]

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Is Moscow Setting the Stage for Using Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Ukraine?

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, December 14, 2014) One of the most accurate leading indicators of what Moscow is planning to do in Ukraine are the charges it makes that the West is about to do the same thing there. That pattern, well-established over the last year, makes the latest such suggestion – that the US supposedly […]

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Interfax: Updated Russian military doctrine has no preemptive nuclear strike provision – source

Russia ICBM on Mobile Launcher

(Interfax – December 10, 2014) A new edition of the Russian military doctrine does not contain a preemptive nuclear strike provision but it clearly defines circumstances under which strategic nuclear forces can be used, a source involved in the drafting of the document told Interfax-AVN on Wednesday. “The updated version of the military doctrine will not have a provision regarding […]

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The ‘return’ of nuclear weapons: The current crisis unfolding in Ukraine has brought the issue of nuclear weapons back into sharp focus.

Russia ICBM on Mobile Launcher

(opendemocracy.net – NIKOLAI SOKOV – November 28, 2014) Dr Nikolai Sokov is a Senior Fellow at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation. The current crisis unfolding in Ukraine has brought the issue of nuclear weapons back into sharp focus. In recent years, nuclear disarmament has proved unexciting. The unilateral reduction of the US nuclear weapons stockpile under George W. […]

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Preventing nuclear threats trumps political fray: Russia and U.S. reaffirm nuclear security as priority over politics

Radioactivity Symbol

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Andrei Reznichenko, special to RBTH – October 30, 2014) Despite strained relations, the United States and Russia are continuing to collaborate on a radioactive waste management program that has been in place for the past 15 years. At the opening of the VI ATOMEX 2014 International Forum of Nuclear Industry Suppliers in Moscow […]

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A new nuclear arms race?

Russia ICBM on Mobile Launcher

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexander Bratersky, special to RBTH- October 13, 2014) The current breakdown in bilateral relations between the U.S. and Russia has brought a return to rhetoric and attitudes previously associated with the Cold War. When a group of Russian high schoolers were shown an artificial launching site during an excursion to a Cold War-era […]

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Russia’s Nuclear Euphoria Ignores Reality

Russia ICBM on Mobile Launcher

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Golts – October 7, 2014) Muscovites are staging a campaign against Western sanctions called: “Fighting sanctions with fashion.” Participants trade in their old T-shirts with Western slogans for new shirts bearing such inscriptions as: “Sanctions? My Iskander laughs at sanctions,” or “The Topol couldn’t care less about sanctions” – references to Russia’s Iskander and […]

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Justice Ministry Adds Nuclear Research Center to ‘Foreign Agents’ List

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 4, 2014) Russia’s Justice Ministry added a Moscow-based think tank that specializes in nuclear arms research to its controversial list of “foreign agents” on Wednesday. The designation means that the PIR Center, founded in 1994, has been found to receive funding from abroad and to conduct political activities, thus meeting two criteria that require […]

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Interfax: Russia’s NATO envoy says nuclear treaty debate is aimed at setting summit tone

File Photo of Nuclear Weapon, B61 Gravity Bomb

Brussels, 28 August: Attempts to draw NATO into a public discussion of Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (IRNFT) issues look artificial, Russia’s NATO envoy Aleksandr Grushko has said. “We noted that the stove piping on IRNFT came in the lead-up to the summit. This clearly benefits those who would like to present Russia as the enemy. Recall that the Treaty has […]

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Interfax: Moscow stays committed to INF Treaty despite new security threats – Russian Defense Ministry

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

(Interfax – August 14, 2014) Russia remains committed to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), although the situation has changed significantly in the world since this document was signed, and almost 30 countries hold such weapons today, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov has said. “One cannot fail to admit that the military and political situation in Europe and […]

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Interfax: Pushkov not ruling out Russia’s pull-out from INF treaty

Alexei Pushkov file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 14 (Interfax) – The head of the State Duma International Affairs Committee, Alexei Pushkov, has not ruled out the possibility that Russia could withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. “Russia is not planning a series of denunciations of international agreements but it could exit those which no longer meet its national interests, those such as the […]

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Moscow Times: Experts I.D. Russian Missile That U.S. Claims Breached Treaty

Iskander Tactical Nuclear Weapon with Mobile Launcher File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – July 31, 2014) Russian analysts have tentatively identified the mysterious missile at the center of Washington’s recent claims that Moscow had violated a perestroika-era arms treaty, but have noted that the missile in question had never been used to target Ukraine. The Likely Culprit The deployment of Russia’s state-of-the-art R-500, a powerful […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Loss of Ukraine’s military-industrial complex will cost Russia $938 million

File Photo of Russian Nuclear Missile on Mobile Launcher Near Woods

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Nikolai Litovkin, RBTH – July 23, 2014) The business newspaper Kommersant has reported the findings of a special working group of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), which has quantified the costs of ceased collaboration with Ukrainian military-industrial enterprises. Russia will need to spend $938 million (33 billion rubles) to mitigate the negative […]

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RIA Novosti: No Plans for Anti-Missile Defense in Georgia, Ukraine – Nuland

Victoria Nuland file photo

KIEV, June 10 (RIA Novosti) – The United States does not plan to establish an anti-missile defense system in Georgia or Ukraine, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland said Tuesday. “There are no plans to place missile defense systems in Georgia or in Ukraine, either now or in the future,” she said at a briefing […]

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NATO cold shoulder over EuroPRO prompts Russia to find answers

Patriot Missile Launch file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Viktor Litovkin, special to RBTH – June 10, 2014) The Russian Ministry of Defense has issued a statement questioning Western policy on the development of a European missile defense system (EuroPRO). Russia’s comments came in response to the refusal by the organizers of the 10th International Conference on Missile Defense to allow Russian […]

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NEWSLINK: Why the US should keep cooperating with Russia on nuclear security

Radioactivity Symbol

[“Why the US should keep cooperating with Russia on nuclear security” – The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists – Peter E. Davis, Siegfried S. Hecker – May 29, 2014]  Stanford University’s Peter E. Davis and Siegfried S. Hecker consider U.S.-Russian cooperation on nuclear security in the aftermath of Russia’s annexation of occupied Crimea: We were surprised that without exception every one of our Russian […]

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RIA Novosti: West Curtailing Missile Defense Cooperation With Russia – Foreign Ministry

Aegis Seaborne Missile Defense Launch file photo

MOSCOW, May 30 (RIA Novosti) – The decision by organizers to reject Moscow’s application to attend next month’s international conference on missile defense signals that the West is suspending talks with Russia on this issue, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday. “We point that this step fits in the general trend aiming at folding dialogue with Russia on missile defense […]

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Ukraine Crisis Stirs Fears of New Nuclear Arms Race

File Photo of Russian Nuclear Missile on Mobile Launcher Near Woods

(Voice of America – Cecily Hilleary – May 14, 2014) U.S. forces are conducting large-scale nuclear “deter and detect” drills this week, just days after Russia conducted similar military exercises simulating retaliatory strikes to a hypothetical U.S. or NATO nuclear attack. Their timing – during the tense standoff over Ukraine – combined with Cold-War-era rhetoric coming out of Moscow, have […]

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Russia-U.S. arms reduction: What future for START III?

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Viktor Litovkin, special to RBTH – April 10, 2014) The START III Treaty on arms reduction came into force in 2011 and is not due to expire until 2021. How effective is the agreement as a measure to limit the strategic offensive capabilities of Russia and the U.S., and do recent political differences threaten […]

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Interfax/Kommersant: U.S. to stop financing nuclear safety efforts in Russia – paper

File Photo of Russian Nuclear Missile on Mobile Launcher Near Woods

MOSCOW. April 8 (Interfax) – Washington has announced it is halting financing of work on improving the security of Russian nuclear facilities, citing its disagreement with Moscow’s actions in regard to Ukraine, national daily Kommersant reported on Tuesday. The U.S. has suspended all work on physical protection of nuclear facilities in Russia, National Nuclear Security Administration representative Anne Harrington said, […]

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Russia, US Complete Warheads-for-Fuel Program

File Photo of Russian Nuclear Missile on Mobile Launcher Near Woods

MOSCOW, April 7 (RIA Novosti) – The United States has completed payments under a historic agreement providing for the import of Russian highly-enriched uranium for electricity production, Russia’s state-owned uranium producer and trader Techsnabexport said Monday. “We received the final payment from the United States Enrichment Corporation in March,” the company said, adding that its obligations under a contract for […]

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RIA Novosti: US move to suspend missile defence discussion unimportant – pro-Kremlin pundits

Mssile Defense Control Room

(RIA Novosti – April 3, 2014) The Pentagon statement on the suspension of discussions with Russia on missile defence issues is absolutely “perfunctory”, these consultations have long lost any meaning, the experts approached by RIA Novosti believe. Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the Euro-ABM [European missile defence] project at the summit in Lisbon in 2010, but the talks […]

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Obama’s Russian Reset Lost in Putin’s Translations

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Mark Silva – April 4, 2014) President Vladimir Putin, left, greets President Barack Obama during an official welcome of G20 heads of state and government, heads of invited states and international organizations at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg on Sept. 5, 2013. Photographer: Guneev Sergey/Host Photo Agency via Getty Images As international tension was rising […]

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RIA Novosti: OPINION: US Pullout on Missile Defense Talks Won’t Impact Russia

Mssile Defense Control Room

MOSCOW, April 3 (RIA Novosti) – The Pentagon’s recent talk of suspending anti-missile consultations with Russia is hot air, as the negotiations lost their significance long ago, experts have told RIA Novosti. The Russia-NATO missile shield talks have been treading water for years, ever since the two agreed at a 2010 Lisbon summit to cooperate on the European project. The […]

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What the Crimea crisis will do to US-Russia relations

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

(Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – thebulletin.org – Pavel Podvig – March 27, 2014) A physicist trained at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Podvig works on the Russian nuclear arsenal, US-Russian relations, and nonproliferation. … Over the years it has become cliché for commentators on US-Ru ssian affairs to observe that the relationship between the two countries has […]

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Ukraine not planning to restore nuclear status – ministry

File Photo of Russian Nuclear Missile on Mobile Launcher Near Woods

KYIV. March 25 (Interfax) – Ukraine is not planning to restore its status as a nuclear nation, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said. “Ukraine neither was, nor is planning to renew its nuclear status,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Yevhen Perebyinis said at a Tuesday briefing. Such a position was clearly expressed by Acting Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsa during his visit to the […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Russian ICBM missile tests: What lies behind U.S. allegations?

Russia ICBM on Mobile Launcher

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Viktor Litovkin, special to RBTH – February 5, 2014) The U.S. recently accused Russia of contravening the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in its testing of the RS-26 intercontinental ballistic missile. However, these allegations may conceal a hidden agenda. The United States has informed its NATO allies of American concerns over a possible breach […]

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McFaul: U.S. still sees Iranian threat as risk that should be minimized with missile defense system

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

(Interfax – February 5, 2014) The outgoing U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has given an interview with Interfax in which he speaks about the outcomes of his work in Russia, latest trends and developments in relations between Moscow and Washington. Question: The news on your departure has come as a surprise. Despite the fact that you clearly wrote that […]

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Excerpts from transcript of [Putin] meeting with National Research Nuclear University (MEPhI) students

Russian Nuclear Submarine file photo

(Kremlin.ru – January 22, 2014) PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, everyone, The main reason for this meeting is to congratulate you on the upcoming holiday. As one would write in official documents, I want to congratulate you and in your person all of Russia’s students. I wish you the very best in your studies and your future careers. […]

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Interfax: Russia, NATO ready to search for solutions to European missile defense problem

Mssile Defense Control Room

(Interfax – January 28, 2014) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen are ready to search for solutions to the European missile defense problem. They have also discussed possible assistance to the UN/OPCW mission dealing with Syrian chemical weapons, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “Problems and the prospective development of Russia-NATO relations have been discussed. […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia Must Protect Arctic Border From Missile Threats ­ Expert

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

MOSCOW, January 23 (RIA Novosti) ­ Protecting Russia from potential missile attacks launched from the Arctic should be a key goal of increased Russian military presence in the region, a Russian expert on geopolitics said Thursday. According to Konstantin Sivkov, first vice president of the Russian National Geopolitical Academy, massive strikes of high-precision cruise missiles against Russia would be effective […]

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Why Russia Undermines the Norm of Nuclear Disarmament

Russian Nuclear Submarine file photo

(PONARS. Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Polina Sinovets, Associate Professor. Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University – December 20, 2013) [Footnotes here http://www.ponarseurasia.org/memo/why-russia-undermines-norm-nuclear-disarmament] 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, […]

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RIA Novosti: Bad time for Russia to discuss further arms cuts, diplomat says

Russia ICBM on Mobile Launcher

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, December 25, 2013) Now is the least opportune moment in the past 15 years for Russia to discuss further reductions of strategic offensive weapons, Mikhail Ulyanov, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s security and disarmament department, has said in a RIA Novosti interview. “Now is the most inauspicious moment in the past 10-15 years to talk […]

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Interfax: Russia needs about 1,500 nuclear warheads for strategic deterrence – RVSN commander

Russia ICBM on Mobile Launcher

MOSCOW. Dec 17 (Interfax) – Russia needs about 1,500 nuclear warheads in its strategic nuclear forces, Russian Strategic Missile Troops (RVSN) Commander Col. Gen. Sergei Karakayev said. “It is necessary to have about 1,500 nuclear warheads in the shock troops of the Russian strategic nuclear forces in order to resolve tasks of strategic deterrence. The United States have approximately the […]

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Russia Confirms Tactical Missile Deployment on NATO Borders

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

MOSCOW, December 16 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia confirmed Monday that it has deployed tactical ballistic missiles near its borders with NATO but said the move did not violate international agreements. Bild newspaper in Germany reported over the weekend that Russia had “quietly” moved 10 Iskander-M (SS-26 Stone) missile systems into its Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad and along its border with […]

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Interfax: Agreement on Iran challenges grounds to set up missile shield in Europe – Pushkov

Map of Iran with Stylized Radar Sweep and Radiation Symbol Background Image

MOSCOW. Dec 12 (Interfax) – The agreements of the Sextet and Tehran on the Iranian nuclear program call into question if there is any sense of the missile shield in Europe being created by NATO, head of the Russian State Duma committee on foreign affairs Alexei Pushkov said. “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin has put the question correctly: the issue of […]

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