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Arms Control, Non-Proliferation & Disarmament

BASIC has followed developments around nuclear arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament treaties for almost thirty years. This page includes links to issue areas for recent coverage, factsheets and other resources for key treaties, initiatives and dialogues that BASIC has focused on as key steps in achieving progress towards our vision.

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Getting to Zero Update

NATO proceeded quietly with its Strategic Deterrence and Defense Posture Review, while U.S. and Russian disagreements over missile defense continued. The United States was also conducting a review of nuclear targeting. In the United Kingdom, the “successor” to the Vanguard-class submarine that carries Trident missiles officially entered “Initial Gate,” or the initial design phase.

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Getting to Zero Update

Russia and the United States have begun the exchange of information on their nuclear arsenals under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) as they assess next steps on arms control and also try to resolve their differences over missile defense. The Iranian and North Korean nuclear situations showed no signs of resolution, and instead pointed to more difficulties ahead.

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Russia ratifies New START

The Russian parliament completed on January 26 its process of advice and consent for ratifying the New START nuclear arms treaty, and President Dmitry Medvedev signed the ratification bill on January 28.

Both houses of the Russian parliament were required to approve of the treaty. The Duma (lower house) provided its final approval on January 25, by a vote of 350-96, with one abstention. The 137 members of the Federation Council (upper house) voted unanimously for the treaty a day later.

Getting to Zero Update

The Obama Administration was hoping for the U.S. Senate to ratify the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) now that the U.S. mid-term elections are over. If the treaty is not brought to the floor before the end of the year, then prospects for the treaty dim in a Senate where more members will be reluctant to hand the President a foreign policy achievement, and votes in favor of the treaty will be more difficult to muster.

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Prominent Europeans call for change in NATO nuclear policies

Prominent European statespeople who form a sub-group of the European Leaders Network have released a letter calling on NATO to make "disarmament a core element of its approach to providing security." In their letter, they encourage the Alliance to "review its entire nuclear policy and posture with a view to facilitating progress in arms control, in a manner consistent with effective burden sharing and alliance cohesion, effective deterrence and a demonstrable commitment to collective defence."

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