The crisis in U.S.-Russia relationship jeopardizes existing negotiated arms control regimes and, as a result, strategic stability all over the world. However, a successful dialogue in this field could generate momentum that might help create conditions for U.S. and Russian officials to tackle larger and more ambitious issues.
For nearly 50 years, arms control agreements have contributed to more stable and predictable relations between Washington and Moscow. Nowadays, ensuring strategic stability — a situation in which neither side has a strong incentive to strike first, even in a severe crisis — faces numerous challenges while existing negotiated arms control and military transparency regimes are fraying in the face of these challenges.
Nevertheless, both countries have enough experience and are interested in risk reduction. There is a need for dialogue, exchange of opinions and information, in other words, — small steps towards one another. There are ways to bridge U.S.-Russian differences on nuclear arms reductions and related issues, if the political will emerges.
Read more on the issue in Valdai Paper written by Steven Pifer, Non-Resident Senior Fellow in the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative, Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, and the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution; United States Ambassador to Ukraine (1998–2000).