Perhaps no area of US-Russia cooperation is more critical to global security than nuclear weapons. The challenges fall into two categories: limiting the development of more nuclear weapons by the established nuclear powers, and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons to countries beyond that group.
Yet, in this area, the two have failed to deliver on the sense of promise that followed the end of the Cold War. Since then, new challenges have emerged—the number of nuclear powers has multiplied, and both countries have moved to modernize their nuclear arsenals.
What are the current stakes of this question, and how are the United States and Russia working together, or not, to address these challenges?
The US and Russia have demonstrated they can live without each other, says Alexander Ilitchev, a former representative of the Russian delegation to the United Nations. Nowhere is this clearer than with the ongoing crisis on the Korean Peninsula.
But can the global security challenge of a nuclear-armed North Korea be solved without cooperation between the world’s two nuclear superpowers?