Pavel Podvig

Pavel Podvig

Articles by Pavel Podvig

16 January 2009

Russia's new arms development

Pavel Podvig

We don't know at this point what the next U.S.-Russian arms control agreement will look like, but everyone in the international community expects it to be a step toward significantly reducing the world's two largest nuclear arsenals. The levels set in the Moscow Treaty, which Washington and Moscow signed in May 2002, commit them to reducing the number of operationally deployed nuclear warheads on each side to no more than 1,700-2,200 warheads by 2012. One would expect that a post-Moscow Treaty agreement will bring much lower numbers.

18 December 2008

Formulating the next U.S.-Russian arms control agreement

Pavel Podvig

As the United States waits for a new administration to take office in January, expectations are high that arms control talks with Russia will be revitalized shortly thereafter. Parties in both countries--no matter political persuasion--think Washington and Moscow should move quickly to devise a new disarmament agreement that would replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which expires in December 2009.

11 November 2008

Barack Obama's missile defense challenge

Pavel Podvig

What a difference eight years makes. Following the 2000 U.S. presidential election, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered a new disarmament initiative that called for reducing U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear arsenals to 1,500 warheads apiece. Although that statement was basically ignored--at the time, Washington was embroiled in the recount saga--Putin's proposal remained the official Russian position on disarmament in subsequent years.

14 October 2008

A silver lining to the U.S.-India nuclear deal

Pavel Podvig

The civilian nuclear cooperation deal between the United States and India, which President George W. Bush signed into law last week, has been controversial from the moment it was first outlined in New Delhi about three years ago. It would allow Washington to trade nuclear technology with New Delhi despite the fact that India is a de facto nuclear weapons state outside of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

25 August 2008

U.S.-Russian relations after the conflict in Georgia

Pavel Podvig

If there's a consensus about the confrontation between Russia and Georgia, it's that the conflict has seriously strained the relationship between Moscow and its Western counterparts--namely, the United States and NATO. Now that the worst of the conflict seems over, it appears that the harshest measures suggested in the first days of the conflict, i.e., expelling Russia from the G-8, won't materialize. Despite all of the disagreements and mistrust, each party seems to understand that severing ties between Russia and the West isn't realistic.

23 July 2008

The fallacy of the Megatons to Megawatts program

Pavel Podvig

Few U.S.-Russian cooperation efforts are more popular and less controversial than the "Megatons to Megawatts" program, also known as the HEU-LEU deal, which converts Russia's highly enriched uranium (HEU) from nuclear weapons into low-enriched uranium (LEU) for U.S. nuclear power reactors. Under the agreement that the countries signed in 1993, Moscow made a commitment to eliminate 500 metric tons of HEU--probably more than one-third of the total HEU stock that the Soviet Union produced during the Cold War.

3 June 2008

The push for a new arms control agreement with Russia is ill-conceived

Pavel Podvig

Skepticism about arms control agreements has been a prominent Bush administration position. As such, its arms control achievements are few and far between. But in its waning days, the administration has finally agreed with the long-standing Russian position that any new arms control agreement should be "legally binding." John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, also recently announced in a major speech on nuclear issues that he would seek a new arms control agreement with Russia.

22 May 2008

Don't block U.S.-Russian nuclear cooperation

Pavel Podvig

Two weeks ago, the United States and Russia signed an agreement on civilian nuclear cooperation, commonly known as a "123 agreement." It was immediately attacked from all sides. Some members of Congress urged the Bush administration not to submit the document to Congress and threatened to block it once they did. Meanwhile, nuclear skeptics in Russia raised concerns that the agreement could revitalize the idea of importing foreign spent nuclear fuel into Russia or strengthen the U.S.-led Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. For their part, U.S.

18 April 2008

The realities of nuclear fuel supply guarantees

Pavel Podvig

Virtually any discussion regarding the security implications of the spread of nuclear power involves the need to build a mechanism that would ensure a guaranteed, uninterrupted supply of nuclear fuel for new nuclear power plants.

9 April 2008

An Interview with Pavel Podvig

Pavel Podvig