International Luxembourg Forum Supervisory Board meeting. December 1, 2020

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International Luxembourg Forum Supervisory Board Meets to Discuss 2020 Results

Members of the International Luxembourg Forum Supervisory Board discussed the most important and pressing issues of international nuclear security and arms control status and prospects.

December 1, 2020. The Supervisory Board of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe held an online meeting at which leading world experts and scientists studying nuclear security, arms control, and non-proliferation discussed the most important and pressing issues of international nuclear security and strategic stability.

Participants reviewed the status of non-proliferation and arms control, the impact of the crisis in this area on global strategic stability, and strategic arms control after 2021. Experts shared their take on further prospects for the New START extension, the consequences of withdrawal from the INF Treaty, the United States’ exit from the Treaty on Open Skies, the forecast for the JCPOA, and the de-escalation of a new nuclear crisis that could lead to a major war in the Middle East.

They also discussed issues related to the future of the NPT and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which will come into force two days after the new US president is inaugurated.

“Once again, I feel it is necessary to reiterate our previous conclusions as to the growing threat of nuclear weapons being used,” stressed President of the Luxembourg Forum Dr. Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor. “The Forum’s leading specialists have embarked on a discussion of scenarios featuring the limited use of such weapons in the context of various regional conflicts, for so-called de-escalation and on the like, something which previously seemed absolutely inadmissible. Now, several decades later, the threat of nuclear weapons being used is all too real. In the words of a very celebrated politician, as the pandemic grips the world, the economy is nose-diving, and there is a tense atmosphere in the US around the elections, so attention is distracted away from the danger of war.”

As William Perry, a member of the Luxembourg Forum’s Supervisory Board and a former US Secretary of Defense, said earlier, “It is imperative that we promote dialogue on nuclear threats, and the Luxembourg Forum remains the most important platform for Track Two discussions aimed at alerting the world to the nuclear dangers and formulating practical ways to mitigate them.”

Meeting participants expressed their hopes for the extension of the New START, which has already been mentioned by US President-elect Joseph Biden, and the possibility of discussing further steps to reduce strategic arms. According to Luxembourg Forum experts, there are several clear obstacles posed by the format, composition, conditions, and other possible parameters of the new agreements. They discussed the following questions: What will happen with the unification of strategic and non-strategic nuclear weapons? What can be achieved in limiting medium-range nuclear and non-nuclear missiles? What will US policy be on participation in the nuclear deal with Iran? Will the United States rejoin the Treaty on Open Skies?

Then the Luxembourg Forum President summarized the organization’s results for 2020.

The isolation caused by the pandemic gave a significant boost to the activity of the Luxembourg Forum Supervisory Board and International Advisory Council. In 2020, 208 articles, chapters in monographs, and extended interviews were published on a wide spectrum of arms control and international security issues.

“We also launched a regular newsletter covering Forum members’ publications with over 600 subscribers, including the leading international think tanks,” Forum President Dr. Kantor said.

In 2020, the Luxembourg Forum held three online conferences:

– June 4, 2020 — Prospects for the New START Extension

– July 14, 2020 — New Iranian Crisis: Stopping Escalation

– July 15, 2020 — Academician Sakharov’s Intellectual Heritage and Strategic Stability Issues, marking the scientist’s upcoming 100th birthday.

In the Conference Declaration on Iranian Crisis dated July 14, 2020, the Luxembourg Forum’s experts recommended that the US presidential administration adjust its attitude on the Iranian nuclear issue and not prevent other countries from fulfilling all JCPOA conditions, and that the European JCPOA participants develop economic instruments for fulfilling their obligations under the deal, as Iran’s continued development of its nuclear program and missile systems constitutes a major threat primarily affecting Europe. They also recommended that Iran’s leadership stop acting provocatively and start strictly complying with all the JCPOA provisions, since all parties except one are fulfilling their obligations. Otherwise, the sanctions against Iran will be expanded in terms of their consequences and the number of participants.

The Russian government replied to this declaration with a proposal to hold an online meeting of the heads of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, including Germany and Iran, to resolve the JCPOA issue. However, Germany’s consent was the only reaction to this proposal.

In 2020, the Forum published a book, The Middle East Crisis: Scenarios and Opportunities, reporting the results of its Middle East conference. The book will be soon available on the Forum’s website. By the end of the year, the Forum will prepare a brochure summarizing the results of the conference on the legacy of Andrei Sakharov.

The conference was attended by:

– Viatcheslav Moshe KANTOR, President of the International Luxembourg Forum

– Alexey ARBATOV, Deputy Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the International Luxembourg Forum; Head of the Center for International Security, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations; Academician, Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia)

– Des BROWN, Vice Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, current member of the Top Level Group of UK Parliamentarians for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, former Secretary of State for Defense, (United Kingdom)

– Sergio DUARTE, President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, former United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs (Brazil)

– Vladimir DVORKIN, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the International Luxembourg Forum; Principal Researcher, Center for International Security, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences; former Director of the 4th Central Scientific Research Institute, Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation; Professor, Ph.D., Major General (retired) (Russia)

– Rolf EKEUS, Ambassador; former High Commissioner on National Minorities at the OSCE; Chairman of the Governing Board at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute – SIPRI (Sweden).

– Rose GOTTEMOELLER, Distinguished professor, Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; former Deputy Secretary General of NATO; Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security at the US State Department; Chief US Negotiator for the New START Treaty (United States)

– Igor IVANOV, President of the Russian International Affairs Council; Professor at the Moscow State Institute for International Relations of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; former Minister of Foreign Affairs (Russia)

– Robert LEGVOLD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Columbia University; Ph.D. (United States)

– Vladimir LUKIN, Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation; Professor at the Higher School of Economics; former Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Deputy Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation; Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States (Russia)

– Ernest MONIZ, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Nuclear Threat Initiative; former US Secretary of Energy (United States)

– Sam NUNN, Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nuclear Threat Initiative; former Chairman of the Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the US Senate (United States)

– Sergey OZNOBISHCHEV, Deputy Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the International Luxembourg Forum; Head of the Political and Military Analysis Division at the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences; Professor at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (Russia)

– William PERRY, Professor at Stanford University; member of the Luxembourg Forum Organizing Committee; former Secretary of Defense (United States)

– William POTTER, Director, James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies; Professor, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Ph.D. (United States)

– Lynn RUSTEN, Vice President of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (United States)

– Roald SAGDEEV, Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland, Academician, Russian Academy of Science (Russia/United States);

– Feodor VOITOLOVSKY, Director, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences; Corresponding Member, Russian Academy of Sciences; Professor, Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia)

As usual, the members of the Supervisory Board will prepare a final declaration containing proposals and recommendations to heads of state, officials, and leaders of influential international organizations on improving the nuclear non-proliferation regime and strengthening international nuclear security.