The Importance of Bilateral U.S.-Russian Nuclear Cooperation During Times of Political Turbulence

Today in Moscow, NTI and the Moscow-based Center for Energy and Security Studies (CENESS) launched a new joint report on the future of U.S.-Russian nuclear cooperation. The report includes 51 recommendations for mutually beneficial cooperation across five thematic areas: nuclear science, nuclear energy, nuclear safety, nuclear security, and nuclear environmental remediation. If implemented, these projects could result in safer nuclear reactors, stronger defenses against nuclear and radiological terrorism, and cleaner approaches to nuclear environmental remediation. 

Among its top recommendations, the report concludes that "nuclear cooperation should not be held hostage to oscillations in U.S.-Russian political relations." As the world's two largest nuclear powers, the United States and Russia share a special responsibility for engagement on nuclear issues. 

This has no doubt been yet another turbulent week for U.S.-Russian relations - but this makes it all the more important that the United States and Russia remain engaged on nuclear issues. Doing so will ensure that we manage serious nuclear risks and find solutions to pressing global challenges, including those posed by nuclear proliferation, nuclear terrorism, and climate change.

This report provides a roadmap for such bilateral engagement, rooted in the principle of mutual benefit. As NTI Co-Chairman Senator Sam Nunn and NTI Board Member and former Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov wrote in the Foreword to the report, "Moving forward with projects such as those proposed in the report would allow the United States and Russia to begin to rebuild the trust critical to putting bilateral relations back on track." 

The report serves as the culmination of an 18-month dialogue sponsored by NTI and CENESS between more than 50 U.S. and Russian nuclear experts. 

 

February 15, 2017
Authors
Andrew Bieniawski
Andrew Bieniawski

Vice President, Material Security and Minimization

Leon Ratz
Leon Ratz

Program Officer, Material Security and Minimization

Alex Bednarek

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