Roundtable meeting in Brussels: Engaging Russia on Tactical Nuclear Weapons

BASIC, in cooperation with the Arms Control Association (ACA), the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH), and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), hosted in Brussels on April 15, 2013 a private roundtable on engaging Russia on tactical nuclear weapons. Discussions focused on potential ways forward for improving confidence between Russia and NATO.

Key themes:

  • There was an awareness that both Russia and U.S./NATO see their tactical nuclear weapons as bargaining chips, and as this summary report points out, “There is a danger that the tactics used by both sides puts greater value on the TNW themselves than either side has for them militarily.”
  • A number of participants expressed an understanding that Russia does not see a genuine, direct benefit in making traditional nuclear arms control trades that would include tactical nuclear weapons with the U.S. and NATO in the near future. Participants discussed a range of ways to address deeper insecurities between Russia and the Alliance.
  • Part of the deadlock between Russia and U.S./NATO on arms control may have more to do with perceptions, rather than only incongruent interests. Potential transparency and confidence building measures should become a point of analysis in NATO states and Russia – with the aim of jointly constructing a cost-benefit matrix from different perspectives.

Full report: Engaging Russia on Tactical Nuclear Weapons: Next steps on confidence building

This roundtable event was part of a larger project by ACA, BASIC, and IFSH, funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Please visit our NATO’s Nuclear Posture publication page for related reading.

Share This

Copy Link to Clipboard