New Initiative on Russian Nuclear Risks Launching at Munich Security Conference

As arms control falters, Global Zero and the Center for a New American Security convene NATO foreign ministers, officials, and experts to talk options 

MUNICH — On February 18, 2023, Global Zero and the Center for a New American Security are launching a new track-1.5 initiative to address rising nuclear risks at the Munich Security Conference, the world’s leading international security forum. The initiative will begin with a closed-door session sponsored by the Foreign Ministry of the Netherlands that brings together top experts and senior government officials to explore how NATO and its partners can counter Russian nuclear and other strategic threats, as well as when and how to approach future arms control negotiations. 

“The ongoing invasion of Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s irresponsible nuclear threats underscore the reality that Russia’s nuclear arsenal remains a formidable concern that must be addressed and managed by the NATO alliance,” said Jon Wolfsthal, senior advisor at Global Zero Senior Advisor and a former senior White House official.

“Despite the damage being done to Russia’s military in Ukraine, Russia will remain a persistent threat to the United States and its NATO allies. Russia may be down, but it’s not out and the nature of the threat will evolve–including in the nuclear domain. NATO has not prioritized nuclear risks and must now adjust to a new threat environment,” said Andrea Kendall-Taylor, head of CNAS Transatlantic Security program and a former U.S. national intelligence officer specializing on Russia.

The danger of nuclear weapons use remains a central concern for the United States and NATO. NATO allies have different views on whether and when to engage Moscow, how any coordination and strategy development should be organized, and what acceptable outcomes of engagement looks like. As NATO enhances its internal coordination on nuclear and arms control issues. Global Zero and CNAS are working in support of intra-alliance discussions to broaden the voices included in these debates and ensure that the diplomatic and political implications of decisions are factors into these dialogues, in addition to defense and deterrence issues.

Participants in Munich will include representatives from U.S. and NATO governments, as well as top experts on Russia, security, deterrence, and arms control. Future dialogues are planned for 2023 in Brussels and Eastern Europe, with follow-on events in Washington and Berlin.  


Global Zero is the international movement for the abolition of nuclear weapons. It is led by more than 300 eminent world leaders and backed by a half a million citizens worldwide. For more information, please visit

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is an independent, bipartisan, nonprofit organization that develops strong, pragmatic, and principled national security and defense policies. For more information, please visit