Nuclear arms control has returned to the top of the U.S.-Russia agenda. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev recently agreed to work out a new agreement to reduce strategic offensive arms, a part of a step-by-step process aimed ultimately at a nuclear-free world. When Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meets with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton next week, strategic arms will top their agenda and full negotiations on a successor agreement to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) begin in mid-May. How difficult will it be to conclude a new agreement before the START treaty expires in December? Can the United States and Russia invigorate a broader effort to combat nuclear proliferation?
On May 6, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings (CUSE) hosted a discussion on the role of nuclear arms control in U.S.-Russia relations and its challenges. Panelists included Brookings President Strobe Talbott, Visiting Fellow Steven Pifer and Carlos Pascual, vice president and director of Foreign Policy at Brookings. Pifer also discussed his new Brookings policy paper "Beyond START: Negotiating the Next Step in U.S. and Russian Strategic Nuclear Arms Reductions." Victoria Nuland of the National Defense University provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After the program, panelists took audience questions.