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.
- 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.
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.