"I want to tell you that your fact sheet on the [Missile Technology Control Regime] is very well done and useful for me when I have to speak on MTCR issues."

– Amb. Thomas Hajnoczi
Chair, MTCR
May 19, 2021
Putin Says Russian Export Controls Must be Improved

Speaking Dec. 3 to Russia’s top security officials, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is among the highest security priorities for Russia but that Moscow’s current approach to the problem needs to be reformed and strengthened.

Although Putin declared that Russia is “consistently fulfilling its international obligations in the field of nonproliferation,” he also contended that in Russia there is no “unity in understanding the very term ‘nonproliferation.’” He complained that a shortage of nonproliferation specialists exists and that, when it comes to certain areas, such as export controls, there is “no right to speak of a coherent system.”

Putin further declared that there needed to be an “in-depth and systemic analysis of all our state activities with respect to nonproliferation” and “more efficient coordination of the activities of bodies of power in this field.”

In a November 2003 unclassified report on global proliferation during the first half of last year, the CIA identified Russia as a key source of dual-use goods and technical knowledge for proliferators. The report stated that Russian entities “continued to be eager to raise funds via exports and transfers.” Of ongoing concern to Washington is Russia’s continued involvement in Iran’s nuclear reactor project at Bushehr, which does have the Kremlin’s official blessing.