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US-Russia relations: Reaching the point of no return?

03-10-2018

In August 2018, Russia's embassy in Washington claimed that US-Russia relations were moving towards irreversible breakdown. Long-standing bilateral tensions have been aggravated in recent years by Russia's aggression against Ukraine, sanctions, and accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections. Initially, Donald Trump's electoral victory raised hopes in Russia that tensions could ease. But while Trump often appears to share Russian wishes to move from confrontation to a more ...

In August 2018, Russia's embassy in Washington claimed that US-Russia relations were moving towards irreversible breakdown. Long-standing bilateral tensions have been aggravated in recent years by Russia's aggression against Ukraine, sanctions, and accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections. Initially, Donald Trump's electoral victory raised hopes in Russia that tensions could ease. But while Trump often appears to share Russian wishes to move from confrontation to a more transactional relationship, a rift has opened up between him and the rest of the US political establishment, which insists that the differences between the two countries are too fundamental to be easily set aside. Growing hostility towards Russia has led to harsher rhetoric and increasingly draconian sanctions. Alongside these more recent developments, US-Russia relations have been complicated for many years by fundamental foreign policy differences. The US sees itself as a global leader and champion of liberal values. For its part, Russia resents what it perceives as US hegemony and unwarranted interference in other countries' internal affairs. Russia is far from being a military equal to the US. Nevertheless, Moscow's nuclear arsenal makes it a potentially formidable adversary. A series of arms-control agreements aims to contain the threat of an arms race or even conflict between the two sides. However, deteriorating relations are making such arrangements look increasingly precarious. Compared to political and security issues, economic ties play only a minor role in US-Russia relations. Bilateral trade and investment have suffered from tensions and are likely to remain limited, not least due to sanctions.

Nuclear Proliferation in North East Asia

23-03-2017

The nuclear dimension of the crisis in the Korean peninsula has been compounded since the end of the Cold war, particularly since the North Korean regime announced its withdrawal from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in January 2003. The nuclear and ballistic programmes of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) have dangerously improved since the beginning of the decade and seem to have accelerated since 2014 in spite of the continuous strengthening of the international sanctions ...

The nuclear dimension of the crisis in the Korean peninsula has been compounded since the end of the Cold war, particularly since the North Korean regime announced its withdrawal from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in January 2003. The nuclear and ballistic programmes of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) have dangerously improved since the beginning of the decade and seem to have accelerated since 2014 in spite of the continuous strengthening of the international sanctions regime against Pyongyang’s Weapons of Mass Destruction programmes. Accordingly, tensions have risen dramatically in the Korean peninsula. In the current context, the resumption of the six-party talks – deadlocked since the spring of 2007 - remains very hypothetical. It is clearly dependent on a change of attitude on Pyongyang’s part, something hardly predictable. Even if ‘strategic patience’ towards North Korea has been challenged for some time, it may be that there is no better alternative to this policy. Comprehensively conceived, it should be understood as a strong policy of containment of the North Korean nuclear crisis in order to make possible the return of Pyongyang to negotiations. As a subsidiary issue, it could be asked whether the EU could play a renewed role as regards to nuclear and ballistic proliferation in North East Asia.

Externý autor

Benjamin HAUTECOUVERTURE (Fondation pour la Recherche Strategique - FRS, Paris, France)

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT): State of play

11-04-2016

Despite hopes to the contrary, nuclear weapons are making a comeback in the strategic planning of nuclear-armed states. The decline in nuclear arsenals worldwide is accompanied by investment in more modern nuclear weapons and delivery systems, stepping further away from the disarmament pledges the nuclear weapon states assumed under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and challenging the foundations of the Treaty. Adding to the risk of undermining the NPT's relevance and credibility are the ...

Despite hopes to the contrary, nuclear weapons are making a comeback in the strategic planning of nuclear-armed states. The decline in nuclear arsenals worldwide is accompanied by investment in more modern nuclear weapons and delivery systems, stepping further away from the disarmament pledges the nuclear weapon states assumed under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and challenging the foundations of the Treaty. Adding to the risk of undermining the NPT's relevance and credibility are the nuclear-armed states outside the NPT which are not bound by key international non-proliferation and disarmament obligations. The NPT Review Conference in 2015 addressed the states parties' effective implementation of their commitments under the NPT, as well as the enormous challenges ahead. Although the conference ended in failure to agree a consensus on an outcome document, the increased adherence to the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons initiative is believed to provide those states which are interested with a way forward towards pursuing the NPT goal of a nuclear-free world.

Japan: Defence and security policy reform

22-01-2016

After a lengthy, fraught parliamentary process, on 20 September 2015 the National Diet of Japan finally approved a long-awaited reform of Japan's defence and security laws. Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s determination won out against opposition from within Parliament and the public. Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution has been reinterpreted: Japan's Self-Defence Forces can now come to the aid of any ally which is under attack, in particular the US, which has guaranteed Japan's security since the ...

After a lengthy, fraught parliamentary process, on 20 September 2015 the National Diet of Japan finally approved a long-awaited reform of Japan's defence and security laws. Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s determination won out against opposition from within Parliament and the public. Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution has been reinterpreted: Japan's Self-Defence Forces can now come to the aid of any ally which is under attack, in particular the US, which has guaranteed Japan's security since the end of the Second World War. This change was one of a series of reforms and initiatives, which included setting up a National Security Council, defining a national security strategy, adopting a law on classified information and revising the Principles on Arms Exports. The guidelines for cooperation with the US have also been revised. At the same time, Tokyo has begun to develop its military cooperation with other countries in the region. The purpose of these reforms was to make Japan an 'active contributor to peace' in a regional context overshadowed by Chinese ambitions and the growing nuclear threat from North Korea.

Russia's New Aerospace Defence Forces: Keeping Up with the Neighbours

22-02-2013

The system should provide defence against all types of missiles. A missile early warning system is being developed across the country. The A-135 system is being upgraded and integrated into the VKO. Missile defence exercises have been intensified across the country, with numerous tests conducted in the last months of 2012 and more planned for 2013. If the organisational and budgetary challenges are met, the VKO will significantly boost Russia's military strength.

The system should provide defence against all types of missiles. A missile early warning system is being developed across the country. The A-135 system is being upgraded and integrated into the VKO. Missile defence exercises have been intensified across the country, with numerous tests conducted in the last months of 2012 and more planned for 2013. If the organisational and budgetary challenges are met, the VKO will significantly boost Russia's military strength.

The cost of non-Europe in the area of security and defence

19-06-2006

Externý autor

Dr. Hartmut Kuechle Bonn International Center for Conversion

Defence Equipment for European Crisis Management

01-03-2003

The paper summarises the key issues in regard to crisis management in the context of European Security and Defence Policy, especially those concerning military equipment and capabilities. It suggests how deficiencies may be rectified.

The paper summarises the key issues in regard to crisis management in the context of European Security and Defence Policy, especially those concerning military equipment and capabilities. It suggests how deficiencies may be rectified.

Externý autor

Dr. Stephen Pullinger, Project Leader, Executive Director of International Security Information Service (ISIS), Brussels

Security and Armaments: the Role of the European Parliament in Relation to the Work of the European Community and European Political Cooperation

01-03-1985

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