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Commentary

Never let a good crisis go to waste! The impact of great power conflict on the nuclear non-proliferation regime and what to do about it

In advance of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) 2026 Review Conference, ELN Policy and Research Director Oliver Meier argues that Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has thrown the nuclear non-proliferation regime into crisis. Despite this, opportunities remain to revitalise multilateral frameworks. If N5 states are willing to compartmentalise nuclear arms control, and if the existing international organisations that govern arms nuclear control are better leveraged to build on past achievements, progress on mitigating nuclear risks can still be made.

18 July 2024 | Oliver Meier
Policy brief

The challenge of Russian dual-capable missiles

In a new policy brief, ELN Senior Associate Fellows Simon Lunn and Nicholas Williams discuss how Russia’s superior quantities of dual-capable medium and short-range missiles affect the credibility of NATO’s nuclear posture. It also highlights how NATO’s expansion, the need to engage with more Alliance members, and any potential American withdrawal from Euro-Atlantic security architecture could affect NATO’s capacity for defence, as well as the role of deterrence and assurances in this nexus. 

17 July 2024 | Simon Lunn and Nicholas Williams
Commentary

The NPT needs a common understanding of “nuclear threats”: Questions and tasks for the 11th NPT Review Cycle

YGLN members Maren Vieluf and Ananya Agustin Malhotra argue that NPT states need to start talking about whether or not “defensive” and “offensive” nuclear threats can be distinguished. If NPT states can find agreement on this matter, it could bridge the gap between states condemning any and all nuclear threats under any circumstances and those states that stand firmly behind “defensive” nuclear threats and allow for further progress to be made in the 11th NPT Review Cycle.

15 February 2024 | Maren Vieluf and Ananya Agustin Malhotra
Commentary

Be careful what you wish for: Russia wants to share nuclear weapons with Belarus

The deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus would increase nuclear risks and undermine key nonproliferation norms, but it would not alter the strategic balance in Europe. For Russia, sharing nuclear weapons with Belarus might well backfire politically. NATO countries should therefore resist the impulse to up the nuclear ante.

6 April 2023 | Katia Glod and Oliver Meier
Commentary

Zero Missiles: building on the precedent that helps Ukraine today

Thanks to the INF Treaty, Russian forces attacking Ukraine have not been able to use ground-to-ground ballistic and cruise missiles of ranges from 500-5,500 km, which could have devastated centres in Western Ukraine. Dan Plesch writes that the process that produced the INF Treaty provides important guidance for a renaissance in disarmament in the present century and calls on civil society to seek a global zero on missiles.

21 October 2022 | Dan Plesch