Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 11/2013

ABM Defense & Prospects of a New Russia-us 'Reset'

Yury Fedorov

October 2013

Institute of International Relations Prague


The Obama administration recently suggested concluding a legally binding agreement on transparency that would confirm that American BMD does not pose a threat to Russia’s deterrence forces, and also concluding a framework agreement on further cutting Russian and American nuclear arsenals. The USA may be interested in reducing the tensions with Russia over the missile defense with a view to break the deadlock on a wide complex of hard security and proliferation issues, including the hot problems of nonstrategic nuclear weapons in Europe and Iran and the North Korean nuclear programs, and also to ensure Russia’s support in managing regional crises – these days, especially that in Syria. Moscow probably agrees that it should negotiate a legally binding agreement on transparency and confidence building measures with the USA. At the same time Russia continues in asking for legally binding guarantees that the US BMD is not aimed against its strategic forces as the sine qua none of any other talks and agreements on nuclear weapons with the US. The Kremlin also may propose some trilateral consultations between the USA, Russia, and Europe on BMD with a view to involve some European circles that are skeptical about the missile defense in the debate.