• November promises to be a watershed month for U.S.-NATO-Russia relations. The U.S. Senate may vote on the New START treaty after it returns Nov. 15 and the NATO Lisbon Summit on Nov. 19-20 will address both nuclear weapons and regional missile defense. After that, President Obama has said he wants to pursue an agreement with Russia covering strategic and tactical weapons, and NATO may launch a year-long review of its nuclear and missile defense policies.
• The SI Committee for arms control calls both, the US Senate and the Russian Duma, to ratify the New Start Treaty as soon as possible to fulfil this important step in the disarmament process between the United States and Russia.
• The SI asks NATO to use the development of a new Strategic Concept to support President Obama’s drive for multilateral nuclear disarmament. NATO needs to respond to the new nuclear arms control agenda as outlined by U.S. President Barack Obama. The new strategic concept includes for the first time, at the insistence of Germany and other countries, calls for nuclear disarmament.
• The SI committee for arms control calling for urgent changes to NATO nuclear policy in the run up to the Lisbon Summit and for fresh attempts to engage Russia on a range of security issues from non-strategic nuclear weapons to ballistic missile defence. The alliance must decide if NATO is going to retain the status quo by keeping its weapons for deterrence, or is NATO finally going to give arms control and disarmament precedence?
For a new arms control agreement on missile defence
• The SI Committee hopes the Russian-NATO Council summit due to be held in November in Lisbon will make clear the situation with the European missile defense plan. The SI urged NATO to take the Russian concerns into account, saying that Russia should be allowed active involvement in shaping missile defense.
• NATO and Russia should work together to develop models for a combined NATO-Russia missile defense architecture. A new arms race in this area, which is leading to new uncertainties, must be prevented.
• We need a new arms control agreement to limit missile defence (ABM treaty), which covers as many regions of the world as possible.
• It is also important for both sides to restore and eventually modernize the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, from which Russia has suspended its participation.
In particular the SI Committee on Disarmament calls for:
• A further reduction and consolidation of the 200 U.S. non-strategic nuclear weapons stationed in Europe;
• A change to NATO declaratory policy to make it clear that the fundamental purpose of NATO’s nuclear weapons is only to deter nuclear attack and not to deter a wider range of non-nuclear threats;
• NATO engagement with Russia on the verifiable reduction and consolidation of non-strategic nuclear weapons across the whole of Europe;
• The retention and updating of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty and for NATO to work for Russia’s return to this treaty regime;
• Use of the NATO-Russia Council to support the search for binding agreements on the future of ballistic missile defence.
• Missile defense should not be seen as the only or even the most important means to contain and minimize Iran’s missile program. Economic penalties, forward-thinking diplomacy, and cooperative international efforts to prevent the export of missile components are crucial elements of that effort.