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"I find hope in the work of long-established groups such as the Arms Control Association...[and] I find hope in younger anti-nuclear activists and the movement around the world to formally ban the bomb."

– Vincent Intondi
Professor of History, Montgomery College
July 1, 2020
Daryl Kimball

Russia Should Agree to Resume Inspections, Discuss Follow-On To New START

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For Immediate Release: Feb. 3, 2023

Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, 202-463-8270 ext. 107; Shannon Bugos, senior policy analyst, 202-463-8270 ext. 114

(Washington DC) —Experts from the Arms Control Association called upon Russia to comply with its obligations to allow for on-site inspections to verify compliance with the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) and to engage in further nuclear disarmament diplomacy with the United States.

“It is in Russia’s self-interest to resume on-site inspections and to engage in talks with the United States to hammer out new nuclear arms control framework agreement to supersede New START before it expires in three years, on Feb. 5, 2026,” says Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.

“Russia’s failure to allow for the resumption of New START inspections is irresponsible and unnecessary, especially at this time of heightened tensions and uncertainties,” says Kimball. “Maintaining common sense limits on the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals remains in the common security interests of Washington and Moscow, as well as the world.”

The U.S. State Department released its annual compliance assessment report on New START Jan. 31.

“Russia’s decisions to prohibit on-site inspections and to unilaterally cancel a meeting of the treaty’s Bilateral Consultative Commission meeting stand in clear violation of New START,” said Cara Abercrombie, deputy assistant to the president and coordinator for defense policy and arms control for the U.S. National Security Council, during a Feb. 1 briefing hosted by the Arms Control Association.

In August 2022, Moscow announced a prohibition of on-site inspections of its nuclear weapons-related facilities subject to the treaty citing obstacles to its ability to conduct those inspections. Russia and the United States planned to convene the Commission in Cairo, Egypt, in November 2022 to resolve the dispute issue, but Moscow called off the meeting and has since refused to reschedule as required by the treaty. The United States has made it clear that there are no obstacles that would impede Russia from conducting reciprocal inspections of U.S. strategic nuclear facilities.

New START will expire in exactly 1,098 days. Two years ago today, U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to extend the treaty by the full five years, in order to allow for more time to put into place a replacement arrangement.

“The United States and Russia have continued to emphasize their support of New START and have cited its great value in providing predictability, transparency, and stability,” says Shannon Bugos, a senior policy analyst at the Arms Control Association. “Washington and Moscow must maintain strong adherence to the agreement, so as to mitigate nuclear escalation and misunderstandings and to pave the way for further U.S.-Russian nuclear arms reductions.”

Additional Resources

A Pivotal Year Lies Ahead

Inside the Arms Control Association January 2023 Since Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine last February, our work to reduce and eliminate the dangers posed by nuclear weapons has become even more challenging. It is no wonder that our partners at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved their “Doomsday Clock” 10 seconds closer to midnight. Despite support from President Biden, U.S.-Russian nuclear risk reduction and arms control talks remain on hold. The last remaining bilateral nuclear arms control agreement, New START, will expire in just 1,106 days. Unless Washington and Moscow begin...

Staff at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant Recognized as 2022 Arms Control Persons of the Year

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For Immediate Release: Jan. 13, 2023

Media Contacts: Tony Fleming, director for communications, 202-463-8270 ext. 110; Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, 202-463-8270 ext. 107

(Washington, D.C.)—The Energoatom staff at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) were selected as the 2022 Arms Control Persons of the Year through an online poll that drew more than 3,500 participants from nearly 80 countries.

Zaporizhzhia staff gathered Feb. 16, 2022, for a day of unity celebrated by Energoatom’s employees. (Photo: Energoatom)The annual contest is organized by the independent, nongovernmental Arms Control Association to highlight positive initiatives—some at the grassroots level, some on the international scale—designed to advance disarmament, nuclear security, nonproliferation, civilian protection, and international peace, security, and justice.

The Energoatom staff at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex were nominated for their heroic efforts to maintain nuclear safety and security at the plant under conditions of immense hardship resulting from the illegal Russian military occupation of the facility, which is Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, and amid continued shelling of the ZNPP facility.

"Russia’s illegal and unprecedented occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant created an untenable nuclear safety and security situation. In the face of harassment and threats by Russian forces, Ukrainian personnel have continued to operate the plant and avert a nuclear crisis,” noted Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy with the Arms Control Association.

"The international community owes a debt of gratitude to the heroism and bravery of the Zaporizhzhia personnel, but this dire situation cannot continue,” Davenport said. "The ongoing safety and security risks underscore the critical importance of establishing a zone of protection at the site, returning control of Zaporizhzhia to Ukraine, and strengthening the norm against targeting civilian nuclear infrastructure,” she added.

The runner-up in this year’s contest was Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, nominated for preaching the nuclear disarmament gospel in a religious context. His January 2022 pastoral letter reflects the Catholic Church's long history of speaking out against the threats posed by nuclear weapons and calls on U.S. citizens to take “concrete steps toward abolishing nuclear weapons and ending the nuclear threat.”

The December 2022 issue of Arms Control Today includes an interview with Wester by editor Carol Giacomo titled: "Making the Case That Nuclear Weapons Are Immoral.

Online voting was open from Dec. 8, 2022, until Jan. 12, 2023. A list of the ten candidates, who were nominated by the Arms Control Association staff and board of directors, is available at https://www.armscontrol.org/pressroom/2022-12/2022-arms-control-persons-year-nominees-announced.

Previous recent winners of the "Arms Control Person of the Year" include: Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and the Government of Mexico (2021); Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins and WCAPS (2020); the government of the Marshall Islands and its former Foreign Minister Tony de Brum (2016); and Setsuko Thurlow and the Hibakusha of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, (2015). A full list of past winners can be found on the Arms Control Association website.

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The Energoatom staff at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) were selected as the 2022 Arms Control Persons of the Year through an online poll that drew more than 3,500 participants from over 75 countries.

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