How Russia’s Nuclear Buildup Offers a Good Opportunity for Renewed Arms Control Dialogue

By Polina Sinovets

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in 2015 that he viewed the United States as seeking “to destroy strategic balance, to change the balance of power in such a way not just to dominate but also to dictate their will to anyone.” Some may regard these as just words, but they hint at a justification for Russia’s nuclear weapon modernization program. If the Kremlin decides, even vaguely, that “the existence of the Russian Federation is under threat,” as per its 2014 military doctrine, a nuclear conflict could break out regionally or even globally. Moscow’s rhetoric about the status of its strategic arsenal has been belligerent at times, making its intent and the status of its development progress cloudy. For its part, the Western media has been posting alarmist comments about the growing capabilities of Russia’s nuclear arsenal and its new types of weapons under development.

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