NPT Nuclear-Weapon States Meet in Dubai

March 2023

The five nuclear-weapon states recognized under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), known as the P5, met in Dubai on Feb. 2–3 to discuss reducing the risk of nuclear war.

The meeting, part of the P5 process, took place at the expert level rather than the more senior ministerial level. But each side brought interagency delegations representing their foreign and defense ministries, as well as military forces, which suggests they were serious about engaging on nuclear issues. They agreed to meet again although a date has not been set.

The United States currently chairs the P5 process, which has slowed substantially since Russia launched a full-scale war on Ukraine in February 2022. In the meantime, Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued nuclear threats and on Feb. 21 announced he was suspending Russian participation in the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the last remaining formal limit on Russian and U.S. strategic weapons.

The five countries last met during a side event at the NPT review conference in August and a short meeting in October.—GABRIELA ROSA HERNÁNDEZ