Europe is host to the greatest concentration of long-range precision-guided weapons in the world. NATO and Russia currently deploy several thousand such weapons in Europe—on the ground, at sea, and in the air—which can be launched at a moment’s notice. Both sides are also engaged in large-scale modernization efforts that will make them faster, more powerful, and more accurate.
The Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP) has prepared a detailed, actionable proposal for a transparency regime for these weapons. Such a regime could help reduce concerns of each side—NATO and Russia—about the military posture of the other as well as prevent a situation when certain military activities, including large-scale exercises, could be mistaken for preparation for war. The presence of such a regime would have made it more difficult for Russia to concentrate long-range conventional weapons vis-à-vis Ukraine in the run-up to the invasion.
Nikolai Sokov, Senior Fellow in the Monterey office of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) since 1996, currently with the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation. He is an expert on Russian diplomacy and arms control policy. From 1987-92, he worked at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union and later Russia and participated in the START I and START II negotiations as well as in a number of summit and ministerial meetings. Sokov is the author or co-author of a dozen books and numerous articles on nuclear policies and postures, arms control and international security.