Whether an arrangement of either type would be relevant to the Russian case is unknown. Russian implementation of the programs has evidently benefited from time to time from high-level appointments, such as the appointment in 2003 of a Deputy Prime Minister with responsibility for them. The specifics of Moscow interagency arrangements, however, must be left to the Russian side.
After some three months of meetings and interviews with practitioners in and out of government, a number of themes recurred. These center in the two areas that we have highlighted in this paper: barriers and impediments to nonproliferation cooperation and what can be done about them. Although many agree on what the problems are, there is a wide variety of approaches to fixing them. Certain solutions were identified as most appropriate to early stages of cooperation, but they have lost importance as the relationship matured. Other solutions, such as national laws or government-to-government agreements, have proven vital to provide the legal underpinnings for cooperation at high levels. Since those underpinnings have been in place, however, it has not been as urgent to pursue additional high-level undertakings to support implementation of the program. New high-level solutions might be sought in future, but the existing ones are currently sufficient for implementation to proceed.
Instead, the bulk of the solutions that have been identified were engineered to overcome barriers and impediments to program implementation. These have been developed primarily at the agency-to-agency or manager-to-manager level. In general terms, practitioners see this result as positive, because it bespeaks a consensus between the two sides that the programs must move forward and that they can be implemented without constant reference to the political level of government.
This development is consistent with the idea, which the Russian Federation has been emphasizing in its official discussions, that Russia can be more of a full partner in the cooperation, rather than simply an aid recipient. Russia’s economy has been growing, and it is contributing a significant amount to the G8 Global Initiative—$2 billion over ten years, which is a contribution second in size only to that of the United States. With Russia beginning to fund or partially fund some of the programs itself, it will assume a more equal role with the United States in designing, planning and managing cooperative projects. It is natural that most of these activities will take place at an agency-to-agency or manager-to-manager level, rather than at a political level.
Of course, barriers and impediments to cooperation are numerous, persistent, and continue to hinder implementation of the joint nonproliferation programs. This analysis merely suggests that the focal point for solutions to these problems is likely to be found at the agency and managerial levels. In addition, the overall tenor of the cooperation would improve if the United States and Russia could return to a vigorous agenda of confidence-building activities, beginning with military-to-military contacts.
Most importantly, both nations would do well to draw from a variety of solutions to problems. Insisting on a “one-size-fits-all” approach has done much to slow or halt program