Nuclear Weapons | Analysis and New Insights

Russia’s Nuclear Security Policy: Priorities and Potential Areas for Cooperation

Anton Khlopkov | May 2015


Even before the Ukraine crisis strained relations between Russia and the United States in 2014, their engagement on nuclear materials security was in need of new, creative, and sustainable approaches.

This policy analysis brief by Anton Khlopkov, director of the Moscow-based Center for Energy and Security Studies and editor in chief of the journal Nuclear Club, outlines Russia’s domestic and international policy priorities and offers recommendations for bilateral nuclear security cooperation between Moscow and Washington.

The brief introduces key principles of Russia’s nuclear security policy and recent improvements in Russia’s legislative and regulatory frameworks. It gives an overview of ongoing and planned efforts to eliminate Russia’s nuclear legacy, including spent fuel removal, decommissioning of nuclear research facilities, and the consolidation and conversion program. The brief also highlights the improvement of nuclear security standards as part of Russia’s international peaceful nuclear cooperation projects.

Khlopkov argues that “Russia and the United States bear special responsibility for keeping nuclear materials safe and secure, preventing them from falling into the hands of terrorists, and maintaining reliable physical protection measures.” He proposes practical and innovative steps to facilitate cooperation between Moscow and Washington on nuclear materials security and minimization.