Nuclear conflict scenarios back on table – Moscow

The erosion of global arms control by the US has forced world powers to revive their nuclear war planning, senior diplomat argues

Policies enacted by the US have forced other world powers to revive their nuclear war planning, senior Russian diplomat Alexey Drobinin has claimed. The comments from Drobinin, who serves as head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Foreign Policy Planning Department, offer an insight into Moscow’s current thinking in this sphere. 

“Built by generations of negotiators, the framework for arms control and preservation of strategic stability is now being dismantled at the instigation of the US. The Americans have lowered the first-strike threshold in their military doctrine,” Drobinin wrote in an article for the Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn (International Life) magazine published Wednesday. 

“These and other concerning factors are yet again bringing the most dangerous scenarios of conflict between nuclear powers, fraught with disastrous consequences, back into the view of military planners,” he warned.

Nevertheless, the emergence of a multipolar world order – in which Russia is actively involved – will make the globe a safer place, unless the West chooses to interfere, the diplomat argues. “Everyone will benefit from the multipolarity and deglobalization – provided no-one disrupts the natural course of these objective phenomena,” Drobinin argued. 

“What is of crucial importance here is how the political establishment of North America and Western Europe chooses to behave… Unless they are able to suppress the pain they are feeling over losing their power over the world – however humanly understandable that pain may be – and stop ‘grabbing the gun’ every time patient diplomacy is in order, the alarming trend of the growing importance of strength in international affairs will not only endure but intensify,” Drobinin wrote.

On Monday, in a letter to participants of the tenth Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated that there would be no winners in a nuclear war, and it must never be allowed to happen.

READ MORE: Putin talks about nuclear war

The landmark New START remains the only major arms control agreement between Moscow and Washington still in force. In early 2021, the deal was on the brink of expiration, but it was ultimately salvaged shortly after Biden’s inauguration, when Washington finally agreed to Moscow’s calls to prolong the deal without any preconditions. It is currently set to expire in 2026.