8 November 2012, 21:33

Nuclear deterrent: world needs new pillar

Nuclear deterrent: world needs new pillar

Nuclear deterrent remains a cornerstone of strategic stability, but its mechanism shaped during the Cold War shows signs of destruction due to new challenges. The topic was high on the agenda of an international conference in Moscow called Nuclear Weapons and International Security in the 21st Century.

Speaking at the conference on Thursday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said, in particular, that politicians assess possibilities rather than intentions, a clear nod to Washington’s attempts to create a global missile defense system. Rogozin also singled out other steps by Washington that he said may undermine the current parity in the sphere of strategic arms. At the same time, more experts question the very necessity of ensuring strategic stability based on the Russian-American nuclear parity.

Speaking of a possible “big war” between Russia and NATO is irrelevant given that the Cold War has long ended. Participants of the conference said that at present, Russia and the United States refrain from perceiving each other as enemies. Even so, military hardliners and political traditions prevent the Cold War-era dogmas from being scrapped once and for all.

A nuclear war threat is currently transformed in risk of a possible use of nuclear weapons in a local conflict. Meanwhile, the number of the so-called “threshold nuclear countries” continues to grow, while the nuclear arms are seen as the only guarantee to maintain independence, especially in case of a potential conflict with a great power.

Additionally, nuclear terrorism-related risks are coming to the fore, even though some experts warn against overdramatizing the situation in this regard.

Russia and the United States should scrap plans on nuclear deterrent, something that will help maintain world peace, Richard Burt, head of the Global Zero project, told the Moscow conference on Thursday. In 1989, Burt served as chief negotiator for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty-1.

According to Burt, Russia’s and the US’ further joint efforts to reduce nuclear arms could help involve other countries, including China, in the process.

At the same time, such a cooperation is tarnished by the problem pertaining to the above-mentioned missile defense system. On the one hand, it is impossible to create a missile shield capable of repulsing a possible Russian nuclear strike, but on the other – the modernization of the missile defense system and the US’ offensive potential may lead to a situation when a reckless and irresponsible leadership may overestimate their abilities in their perennial spat with Russia. Such scenarios were not uncommon in history, and it would be naïve to think that the modern-day world has changed the human nature somehow. In any case, it is already clear that a possible political blunder may be fraught with far-reaching consequences.

US nukes threaten Russian security - Defense Ministry

US tactical missiles deployed in Europe threaten Russia’s security while Russian nukes pose no danger to the US, the country’s deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov stated at the Nuclear Weapons and International Security conference in Moscow Thursday.

He also urged the US not to be afraid to discuss the issue and called for talks.

No US-Russia nukes reduction talks without Euro missile shield accords – official

Russia is ready to revive negotiations on nuclear arms reduction after the US heeds some of its concerns regarding the European missile shield, among others, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said at the international nuclear conference in Moscow Thursday.

He said any further nuclear nonproliferation talks were out of the question unless the both nations agreed on several defense issues.

Mr. Antonov stressed these negotiations must be multilateral and include all major nuclear powers. One of the conditions for such talks is legal safeguards that Russia won’t be targeted by the US anti-missile shield.

Moscow wants ABM guarantees, not words – deputy PM

Moscow hopes that the US will take into account Russia’s anti-missile interests after Obama’s reelection, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin stated at the Nuclear Weapons and International Security conference in Moscow.

Rogozin added that Moscow wants legally binding guarantees not pledges as “the times of Gorbachev have passed”. Russia wants written guarantees that US short and medium range missiles don’t target the country and its heavy missiles.

Earlier, US Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul claimed that such guarantees are impossible due to Iranian threat.

Moscow condemns growing Nuclear Club

Russia opposes the expansion of the so-called Nuclear Weapons Club, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Thursday.

“We have never violated the terms of export control of fissile materials and nuclear weapons since we believe that the Nuclear Club should stay as it was once founded,” Mr. Rogozin said at the international conference on nuclear weapons and global security in the 21st century.

The Russian deputy premier stressed only nations that recognize the catastrophic consequences of a nuclear war could posses these weapons.

“Those who are contemplating the implementation of nuclear weapons are insane,” he said, underscoring that mass destruction weapons were too serious a threat to be entrusted to military-obsessed people. “Nuclear weapons are political weapons,” Mr. Rogozin pointed out.

Deputy PM Rogozin calls for EU-Russia military cooperation

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has said there is an urgent need to forge military and technical cooperation between Russian and Western defense companies.

He stressed however that the EU’s export control bodies effectively blocked any attempts to establish cooperation with Moscow.

Speaking at the Conference titled “Nuclear Cooperation and International Security in the 21st century,” Mr. Rogozin said that such cooperation would act as a safeguard of a political breakthrough in the relations between the EU and Russia because “you don’t trade weapons with an enemy.”

Moscow concerned over expansion of NATO operations

Moscow is concerned by NATO forces' acting outside their "sphere of responsibility," Russian Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin said Thursday at the international conference on nuclear weapons and global security in the 21st century.

The conference has been convened in Moscow to tackle the issue of nonproliferation.

Mr. Rogozin said the expansion of NATO military activities beyond their original sphere of influence is in violation of both the UN Charter, international laws and the fifth article of the Washington agreement was hindering the Global Zero initiative, aimed at securing a nuclear-free future.

Dmitry Rogozin stressed NATO’s military expansion could push some nations to acquire mass destruction weapons in an attempt to defend themselves.

Voice of Russia, TASS, RIA, Interfax

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