In June 2022 BASIC held a virtual roundtable with Russian experts to discuss nuclear, conventional and political risk reduction. The roundtable is part of the two-year project entitled ‘Phase 2: Applying a Systematic Approach to NATO-Russia Risk Reduction’ that BASIC is undertaking in collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Phase two complements and builds upon the lessons of phase one (2019-2020) that explored risk and threat assessments in relation to the potential nuclear and conventional escalation primarily among Western NATO member-states. The main finding in phase one was that the political tensions between Russia and NATO members were at the core of the current and near-future nuclear risks in Europe.
Phase two was initially intended to continue this work of mapping and exploring risk assessments and risk reduction steps in two strands of track 1.5 dialogues with experts and officials from NATO’s north-eastern flank countries and Russia. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 however altered the project. Since the invasion, BASIC has not engaged with Russian government officials. We do believe however that dialogue remains essential. We gathered a range of Russian experts to discuss risk reduction and crisis de-escalation in general terms.
The report has been revised on July 19th.