Celeste A. Wallander: “U.S. Policy on Russia”

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

The White House June 26, 2015 Remarks by Celeste Wallander, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russia and Central Asia on U.S. Policy on Russia U.S. Policy on Russia CNAS Annual Conference June 26 2015 Celeste A. Wallander Special Assistant to the President And Senior Director for Russia and Central Asia National Security Council I am especially […]

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Simon Saradzhyan: Response to to Dr. Mark Galeotti’s article on Russia Strategy (JRL#152. August 7)

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

Subject: Response to to Dr. Mark Galeotti’s article on Russia Strategy (JRL#152. August 7) Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2015 23:14:07 +0000 From: Simon Saradzhyan <Simon_Saradzhyan@hks.harvard.edu> Simon Saradzhyan’s Response to Dr. Mark Galeotti’s article on Russia Strategy in Foreign Affairs. [Simon Saradzhyan is assistant director of the U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism and a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer […]

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Fifteen Years on, Russians Less Inclined to Cast Blame for Kursk Submarine Tragedy

Kursk Submarine File Photo, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – August 12, 2015) Fifteen years after one of the worst disasters in Russian naval history – the sinking of the Kursk submarine in the Barents Sea in which all 118 crew members died – the number of Russians who blame the authorities for not doing enough to rescue the sailors has dropped. […]

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Russia, U.S. Bicker Over Missile Defense Shield After Iran Agreement

Mssile Defense Control Room

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – August 11, 2015) With an international resolution on Iran’s nuclear program in the bag, Russia is pushing the U.S. to honor an alleged 2009 promise by President Barack Obama to scrap plans to deploy a missile defense system in Europe to shield against Iranian missiles. “President Obama in 2009 publicly said that […]

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Toward a ”Reaganov” Russia: Russian Security Policy after Putin

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(The Washington Quarterly – twq.elliott.gwu.edu – Clifford Gaddy and Michael O’Hanlon – Summer 2015) [article also appeared at twq.elliott.gwu.edu/toward-%E2%80%98%E2%80%98reaganov%E2%80%99%E2%80%99-russia-russian-security-policy-after-putin] Clifford Gaddy is Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center on the United States and Europe, Brookings Institution. An economist specializing in Russia, Gaddy is the co-author of “Bear Traps on Russia’s Road to Modernization” (Routledge, 2013). His earlier books include “Russia’s Virtual […]

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NEWSWATCH London Times: Ukraine rebels ‘building dirty bomb’ with Russian scientists

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The Times reports on Ukrainian intelligence findings about Russia-bombed rebels working with Russian scientists to develop conventional bombs laced with radioactive material to maximize their impact. Rebels in Ukraine are working to develop a radioactive dirty bomb with the help of Russian nuclear scientists, according to a Ukrainian security service dossier obtained by The Times.   The report draws on hacked emails […]

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RIA Novosti: East Ukraine separatist spokesman denies reported plans to create “dirty bomb”

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(RIA Novosti – August 1, 2015) Documents provided by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), which have been mentioned by the foreign mass media and which allegedly contain information about development of a “dirty nuclear bomb” by members of the militia, are Kiev’s “yet another lie” and attempt to discredit the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), RIA Novosti (part of […]

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Interfax: Russia’s ambassador to London explains why Russia-NATO conflict over Ukraine is impossible

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Interfax – July 29, 2015) Russia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko rules out the possibility of a military conflict between Russia and NATO over the Ukraine crisis. An open letter of Russia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko was posted on July 29 on the website of the Russian Embassy. “There are, indeed, attempts to frighten the […]

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NEWSWATCH Interfax-AVN: U.S. global missile shield continues to expand – consultant to RVSN commander

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Interfax-AVN covers comments on U.S. missile defense by the Russian military. The circle of participants of the United States global missile shield is expanding, Col. Gen. Viktor Yesin, a consultant to the Commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN), told a press conference …. ‘… At present, parts of the U.S. global missile defense system are deployed on the Danish island […]

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MacArthur Foundation to close office in Russia over restrictive new laws

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anna Sorokina, RBTH, combined report – July 22, 2015) The U.S.-based MacArthur Foundation has announced that it is to cease its work in Russia in connection with new legislation that seeks to limit the activities of foreign organizations seen as a threat to national security. The MacArthur NGO, which receives no funding from […]

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Russia’s Satellite Nuclear Warning System Down Until November

Space in Low Earth Orbit with Partial Sun

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 1, 2015) Russia has delayed the launch of a new military satellite system by four months, news agency TASS reported Wednesday, leaving Moscow nearly blind in the event of a nuclear missile attack till at least November. Russia’s decaying constellation of Soviet-designed early warning satellites was left nearly blind last year, when one of […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times: NATO Returns Its Attention to an Old Foe, Russia

NATO Meeting file photo

The New York Times covers NATO exercises and policies towards Russia. After years of facing threats far beyond its borders, NATO is now reinvigorating plans to confront a much larger and more aggressive threat from its past: Moscow. This seismic shift has been apparent in military training exercises in this former Soviet republic [Latvia], which is now a NATO member […]

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Interfax: Russia urges U.S. not to destroy INF Treaty

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(Interfax – June 11, 2015) The deployment of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles near Russian borders by the U.S. would totally destroy the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “We have taken note of statements by Pentagon representatives that the U.S. is studying options for military responses to Russian ‘violations’, up to the potential deployment of […]

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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

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(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

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(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

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(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

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(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

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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

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[“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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