Nuclear Crisis Group Director on President Trump’s Statement Supporting a World without Nuclear Weapons

This morning, U.S. President Donald Trump said of his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the best possible agreement they could come to would be one where there were no more nuclear weapons in the world. When asked about the potential results from Monday’s upcoming meeting, Trump explained: “What would be the ultimate? Let’s see. No more nuclear weapons anywhere in the world, no more wars, no more problems, no more conflicts. … That would be my ultimate.”

In reaction to the reports, Jon Wolfsthal, director of the Nuclear Crisis Group, issued the following statement:

If President Trump is serious about moving toward a world without nuclear weapons, there are a series of steps his administration can pursue at his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, including immediately extending New START beyond its 2021 expiration date, to help make that vision a reality.

Jon Wolfsthal, Director, Nuclear Crisis Group

“While the U.S. and Russia hold over 90% of the world’s nuclear arsenal, they alone cannot bring about a nuclear free world. But the recommendations put forward by the Nuclear Crisis Group can minimize nuclear-related tension between the United States, its European allies and Russia and restore U.S. and Russian leadership in nuclear arms control, resetting the stage for global action to reverse current nuclear trends.”

In June 2017, the Nuclear Crisis Group released a set of urgent recommendations to avoid the use of nuclear weapons and called on national leaders to act now to reduce the unacceptably high risk of nuclear conflict. The report calls for the United States and Russia to immediately re-engage on nuclear weapon and strategic stability issues to resolve current treaty disputes and reduce the risk of conflict that could quickly escalate to nuclear weapon use.

The Nuclear Crisis Group calls on leaders to pursue these immediate steps:

  • Agree to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START);
  • Urgently resume effective US-Russia and NATO-Russia high-level dialogues and military-to-military discussions;
  • Rapidly launch US-Russia strategic stability talks focusing on potential dangers flowing from existing and potential nuclear deployments, doctrines and modernization programs;
  • Initiate immediate and intensive discussions to resolve Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty compliance concerns, including use of the Special Verification Commission;
  • Fully implement, strengthen existing and pursue new accident-prevention agreements related to aviation and incidents at sea beginning with the Baltics and Black Sea regions;
  • Agree to limits and be more transparent on exercises (i.e., better prior notification, limit scale), preferably by modernizing the Vienna Document and constraining certain exercises, such as strategic bomber flight profiles, integration of nuclear elements in conventional exercises, and large, quick deployment military exercises near national borders;
  • Establish a commitment by Russia, the United States and other NATO states not to issue public threats of nuclear first use;
  • Reinvigorate European conventional arms control efforts, including limitation of forward deployments of conventional weapons, stabilization of the Open Skies Treaty, replacement of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, and modernization of the Vienna Document; and
  • Implement existing agreements for a Joint Data Exchange Center as a first step to expanding nuclear discussions to other nuclear states.

Additionally, the Nuclear Crisis Group urged these follow-on steps:

  • Examine and define the conditions under which the states could adopt bilateral or multilateral nuclear no-first-use agreements;
  • Hey Pursue a phased de-alerting program of all land-based nuclear-armed missiles;
  • Agree to place all tactical nuclear weapons into central storage under verification; and
  • Broaden future arms control discussions to include additional nuclear reductions, as well as missile defense and precision-strike weapons, and include other nuclear weapon countries as participants or observers.

For a full list of Nuclear Crisis Group members, click here:

For more information, or to speak with Nuclear Crisis Group Director Jon Wolfsthal, please contact Jordan Wilhelmi at +1-612-281-2310 or by email at [email protected].