Bilateral U.S.-Russian cooperation on nuclear nonproliferation is principally aimed at strengthening the international nuclear nonproliferation regime, as a component of the international collective security system. Further progress in this area depends to a large extent on the results of the bilateral U.S.-Russian cooperation.
The international nuclear nonproliferation regime comprises a set of legal, organizational, administrative and technical measures to prevent the diversion or undeclared production of nuclear fissionable materials, or undeclared use of technologies by a non-nuclear state for the purpose of acquiring nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
The key elements of the international nuclear nonproliferation regime are as follows:
The Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The NPT came into force in 1970 and, due to active involvement of nuclear states, was extended in 1995 for unlimited duration. Having been signed to date by 187 countries, the NPT became virtually a universal document,
The nuclear safeguards system of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),
The nuclear export control system: the Zangger Committee (created in 1971) and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (created in 1975), and
The International Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials During Their Use, Storage and Transportation (1987).
There are two major types of nuclear nonproliferation: nuclear nonproliferation in the nuclear-weapon states and that in the non-nuclear-weapon countries. As regards nuclear states, the nuclear nonproliferation issues—and the main subject of the present study—have two dimensions:
Commercial peaceful use of their nuclear technologies in non-nuclear countries with no threat of their diversion to military or terrorist purposes (this is an external dimension of nuclear nonproliferation for the nuclear states)
Physical protection, control and accounting, including export control, of national fissionable and radioactive materials, relevant equipment and technologies (an internal dimension of nuclear nonproliferation for the nuclear states).
The Project entitled ”Analysis of problems and impediments to cooperation between the U.S. and Russia on nuclear nonproliferation, and ways of their elimination or mitigation“ has been developed within the framework of the Joint U.S.-Russian Academies Committee on nuclear nonproliferation headed by J.P. Holdren (U.S.A.) and Academician N.P. Laverov (Russia). Major General W.F. Burns (U.S. Army, ret.) and R. Gottemoeller lead the Project on the U.S. side, and Academician A.A. Sarkisov on the Russian side. Academician E.N. Avrorin (Russian Federal Nuclear Center VNIITF) and Alternate Member of RAS L.A. Bolshov (IBRAE RAS) are the Project participants on behalf of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). In addition to RAS representatives, some leading experts in nuclear nonproliferation of the Russian Federation (R.F.) Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Atomic Energy (Minatom R.F.) and Ministry of