Updated: 14-Dec-2000 NATO Press Releases

Press Release

Report on
Options for
Confidence and
ration, Arms
Control and

December 2000

5. NATO's Role In The Future : Options for CSBMs, Verification, Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament
5.1. Nuclear Policy Issues
  5.1.1. Role of nuclear forces in NATO's strategy Confidence and security building measures with Russia
  1. Given the extensive Russian nuclear arsenal, the NATO-Russia relationship constitutes an important focus for the consideration of options for nuclear confidence and security building measures (CSBMs). The NATO-Russia Founding Act established a mechanism, the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council (PJC), for consultation on a wide range of issues in order to develop, on the basis of reciprocity and transparency, a strong, stable and enduring partnership. Two of the issues listed in the Founding Act as areas for consultation and co-operation include conducting reciprocal exchanges on nuclear weapons issues, including doctrine and strategy, and consulting on nuclear safety issues across their full spectrum. NATO has agreed that consultations with Russia on future nuclear CSBMs are desirable, should build upon the provisions of the Founding Act, and should take place in the PJC. This is in keeping with the PJC Ministerial conclusion of 24 May 2000 that the Founding Act remains the basis for all NATO-Russia co-operation.
  2. NATO intends to pursue with Russia four specific CSBM proposals to enhance mutual trust and to promote greater openness and transparency on nuclear weapons and safety issues:
    1. Enhance and deepen dialogue on matters related to nuclear forces,
    2. Exchange information regarding the readiness status of nuclear forces,
    3. Exchange information on safety provisions and safety features of nuclear weapons,
    4. Exchange data on U.S. and Russian sub-strategic nuclear forces.

  1. Enhance and deepen dialogue on matters related to nuclear forces
  1. It will be important to establish a more frequent in-depth exchange of views, assessments, and information on nuclear forces - thereby enabling a better understanding of intentions and activities in the nuclear sphere than has been the experience to date. With respect to the objective of promoting an enhanced and deepened dialogue, NATO will propose, through seminars, workshops and other expert-level meetings, a more frequent in-depth exchange of views, assessments and information on nuclear forces with Russia.

  1. Exchange information regarding the readiness status of nuclear forces
  1. Exchanging information on the readiness status of nuclear forces will demonstrate to Russia the unilateral measures taken by the Alliance to reduce the alert status and readiness of its forces, while increasing the Alliance's understanding of the readiness status of Russia forces. This proposal would consist of two elements:
    • A discussion of the unilateral measures already taken by NATO countries and Russia to reduce the alert status and readiness of their nuclear forces, such as those taken by the U.S. as part of the PNIs (removed all tactical/non-strategic nuclear weapons from ships in peacetime, removed strategic bombers from alert, earlier removal from alert of 450 Minuteman II missiles scheduled for elimination under START I), those taken by the UK as a result of its Strategic Defence Review (including significant reductions of warhead numbers and maintenance of only a single Trident submarine on deterrent patrol at reduced readiness), and earlier steps taken by NATO to de-alert dual-capable aircraft. Russia would be expected to present its measures taken as part of the PNIs.
    • A generic description of the present state of alert for nuclear weapons of NATO countries and Russia.
  1. Exchange information on safety provisions and safety features of nuclear weapons
  1. This proposal involves exchanging on a reciprocal basis information on safety provisions for nuclear weapons storage and transport, as well as safety features and procedures to prevent theft and unauthorized use or to minimize the risk of accidents. The proposal could comprise any of the following elements:
  2. Safety & Security Features of Nuclear Weapons

    • Hold meetings to discuss on a reciprocal basis lessons learned by the nuclear weapons states on issues related to safety and security practices.

    Share Personnel Reliability Programme Oversight Practices

    • Exchange information on a reciprocal basis on personnel reliability programmes, two-person concept, or other methods for ensuring against unauthorized access to nuclear weapons.

    Mutual Observation of Exercises

    • Invite Russia on a reciprocal basis to observe a "nuclear accident response" exercise. The purpose would be to foster a better understanding of the procedures to be followed in responding to an accident, co-ordination required among civil and military organizations, etc.

    Joint NATO-Russia accident exercise

    • Invite Russia to participate in a "joint" nuclear accident response exercise. The purpose would be to enhance mutual co-operation and to improve accident response capability.

    The following CSBM could also be pursued in the context of readiness measures:

    "Shadow" exchange officer programme

    • Establish an exchange officer programme between SHAPE and an equivalent Russian Federation Military Organization, similar to the exchange which exists between the Russian Military and the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM). The exchange could start at flag officer level and could eventually be extended down to the unit level.
  1. Exchange data on U.S. and Russian sub-strategic nuclear forces
  1. This proposal would involve conducting a reciprocal data exchange with Russia within the PJC context. The objective would be to enhance transparency and knowledge of the size of the U.S. and Russian stockpiles.

Go to Homepage Go to Index