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Overcoming Impediments to U.S.-Russian Coorperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation: Report of a Joint Workshop
reflect the views of all workshop participants, the committee, the National Academies, or the Russian Academy of Sciences, or the official positions of the United States or Russian governments. The report does not contain consensus findings or recommendations from the workshop participants as a whole, or from the steering committee.
Despite positive and encouraging progress in U.S.-Russian cooperation on nuclear nonproliferation over the last decade, workshop participants observed that a variety of problems and impediments have emerged which significantly reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of joint efforts. Participants acknowledged the complex and interrelated character of emerging difficulties and impediments to cooperation, noting that no single remedy will be able to solve these problems. It nevertheless seemed possible and useful to describe the experiences and lessons of cooperation and to identify opportunities, strategies, tools, and resources that may be useful in overcoming impediments to cooperation.
THE INTERNATIONAL NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION REGIME
Containment and reduction of nuclear-weapons capability is crucially important to reduce threats to international security from nuclear conflicts, hostile actions by aggressor states, and nuclear terrorism or blackmail. The United States and Russia possess what are by far the world’s largest nuclear arsenals, and they recognize the need to ensure their own national security and to maintain international stability through their bilateral cooperation on nuclear nonproliferation. Several workshop participants noted that this entails maintaining and strengthening the international nuclear nonproliferation regime as a component of the international collective security system. This regime, which depends heavily on the results of bilateral U.S.-Russian cooperation, comprises a set of legal, organizational, administrative, and technical measures directed to prevent the diversion or undeclared production of nuclear fissionable materials. The Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is a key element of this regime and places restrictions and obligations on all of the parties to the treaty. The threat of nuclear terrorism by non-state actors has become a critical concern as groups such as Aum Shin Rikyo, Al Qaeda, and others attempt to acquire nuclear weapons or weapons-usable material. Against both this threat and the spread of nuclear-weapons capability, participants noted, the United States’ and Russia’s interests coincide.
SCOPE, RESULTS, AND GOOD PRACTICES OF THE U.S.-RUSSIAN COOPERATION ON NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION AND RELATED AREAS
Workshop participants saw it as useful to examine programs that are generally regarded as having succeeded in overcoming impediments to cooperation. Background on these programs is presented in detail within the report but is condensed here for brevity. The key programs discussed are the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (CTR); the Fissile Material Disposition Program’s Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) Purchase Agreement (also called Megatons to
the following text can be considered to represent the views of the majority of Russian participants. At the workshop, this also resulted in many instances where there was a consensus among Russian participants.