On May 12 , the Valdai Club hosted an expert discussion, titled “Russia-USA: A New Era of Nuclear Deterrence?”
The Ukrainian crisis has once again underlined the downward trend in Russian-American relations. Given the high level of conflict, unwillingness to listen to the Russian position and refusal to compromise, the bilateral dialogue proved to be futile.
Russia and the United States remain the two largest nuclear powers, and the lack of hard- and-fast rules in relations between them can lead to catastrophic consequences. The prolongation of the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START Treaty) until February 2026 gave a delay in resolving the issue of strategic security. Now Moscow and Washington have less than five years to create a new arms control architecture, since the old one has been practically destroyed by US actions. At the moment, negotiations in the current conditions seem unrealistic. In the context of international turbulence and the constant growth of tension in bilateral relations, there are growing fears of a direct escalation, up to the use of nuclear weapons.
How reliable is the nuclear deterrence system that emerged during the Cold War? Will Russia and the US continue their arms reduction partnership? What will Russian-American relations look like in the emerging reality? Participants of the discussion answered these and other questions.
Dimitri Simes, President, Center for the National Interest, Washington;
Robert Legvold, Marshall D. Shulman Professor Emeritus, Columbia University and Director of the Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative;
Valery Garbuzov, Director of the Institute for the US and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences;
Dmitry Stefanovich, researcher at the Centre for International Security, IMEMO RAS.
Andrey Sushentsov, Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club, Dean of the Faculty of International Relations at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Working languages: Russian, English.