More than 70 leading international experts issued the following statement calling for seven urgent diplomatic steps to prevent a Ukraine/great power war and to lay the foundation for comprehensive Common Security diplomacy.

Joseph Gerson

“In December 2020, this group of senior Russian, American and European experts offered governments a set of recommendations on Russia-NATO risk reduction.  The recommendations addressed most of the areas of common ground so far sketched in Russian, US and NATO exchanges during the present crisis.  Had those recommendations been acted upon, we might now be on a better path away from crisis.

We renew to all sides seven of our recommendations, updated to meet the present situation.  They are simply good sense.  They are modest, but they can be implemented tomorrow and would be a start on making Europe safer:

1. Regular meetings should be held between the Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, the NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, reinforced by military experts, to address issues of current concern.

These meetings would not be to negotiate the present crisis but to ensure military deconfliction and day-to-day risk reduction at this time of heightened tension and military deployments.  They would take place entirely separately from the series of prepared thematic meetings of the NATO-Russian Council that the NRC’s Chairman has proposed.

2. In addition, NATO member states and Russia should resume contacts at the level of military representatives in the NATO Military Committee and restore the Russian military liaison mission at SACEUR Headquarters.

These steps would parallel the establishment of civilian hotline communications that Russia has proposed and the re-opening of the Russian mission to NATO and of NATO liaison offices in Moscow proposed by NATO.  They would rebuild the communication that for safety and good deterrence must take place in foul weather and not just fair. 

3. Russia and NATO member states could agree that both sides will conduct large-scale military exercises, as a rule, at a militarily meaningful distance from their borders, but where geography prevents this then additional measures of notification, transparency and predictability must be taken. They should consider reducing the scale and frequency of military activities with respect to numbers and geography, in particular exercises near borders. Generally, military exercises should be executed responsibly, not provocatively.

Both sides should now be seeking to communicate militarily responsible, unprovocative behavior. The definitions of meaningful distance, scale and frequency could be the subject of discussion through the military channels proposed above.  Military professionals are well able quickly to judge and report good faith or the absence of it.

4. Both sides could take initial steps in the form of parallel unilateral measures that do not necessarily require conclusion of a formal agreement between NATO, or NATO member states, and Russia, which could prove politically difficult to achieve in the present environment.

The crisis means that finding joint agreement on measures both large and small between Russia and NATO will generally require protracted, painstaking negotiation.  A device for getting round this obstacle, especially for military risk reduction, is for commanders to order parallel, unilateral measures based either on informal mutual understandings or as a small, clearly communicated challenge to see whether the other side will reciprocate.

5. Russia and the United States could confirm that, irrespective of the course of the present crisis, they will systematically develop their dialogue on the future of strategic stability and cyber security as agreed at their Geneva summit in June 2021. 

Progress on the fundamental issue of strategic stability is crucial, has its own value, and should not be subordinated to other levels and tracks of negotiations. We wholeheartedly support the Joint Statement of the Leaders of the Five Nuclear-Weapon States on Preventing Nuclear War and Avoiding Arms Races, published on 3 January 2022, including the P5 commitment to the fundamental principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.

6. Russia and NATO could immediately agree to launch negotiations on a new zero option for the deployment in Europe of US and Russian intermediate-range land-based missiles and their launchers.

In their recent exchanges Russia, the United States and NATO have all indicated that they want to see progress on ground-based intermediate-range missiles.  

7. Russia and NATO member states could immediately agree to launch negotiations on a package of measures on the basis of the existing bilateral and multilateral agreements on prevention of incidents at sea and above the sea, and on prevention of dangerous military activities.  

In their recent exchanges Russia, the United States and NATO have all indicated that they would like to see progress in these very practical areas of risk reduction, which are particularly relevant to periods of heightened tension. 

Taken together these seven measures would materially contribute not just to a reduction of Russia-NATO tension but a reduction of Russia-NATO risk.”

Russia-NATO Dialogue Group

February 2022



Russian signatories
 Name Position
1. Dmitry DanilovHead, Department of European security, Institute of  Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IERAS)
2. Victor EsinColonel General (ret.), Former Head of the Main Staff  of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces, Research  Professor, Centre for Advanced Studies of Russian  National Security, HSE University
3. Alexandra FilippenkoSenior Research Fellow, Department of Internal  Policy Studies, Institute for the US and Canadian  Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (ISKRAN)
4. Valery GarbuzovDirector, Institute for the US and Canadian Studies,  Russian Academy of Sciences (ISKRAN)
5. Alexey GromykoDirector, Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy  of Sciences (IERAS), Corresponding Member of the  Russian Academy of Sciences
6. Evgenia IssraelianLeading Research Fellow, Department of Canadian  Studies, Institute for the US and Canadian Studies,  Russian Academy of Sciences (ISKRAN)
7. Igor IvanovMinister of Foreign Affairs (1998-2004), former  Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian  Federation (2004-2007), President of Russian  International Affairs Council (RIAC)
8. Andrey KortunovDirector General, Russian International Affairs  Council
9. Oleg KrivolapovSenior Research Fellow, Department for Military Political Research, Institute for the US and Canadian  Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (ISKRAN)
10. Valentin KuznetsovVice Admiral (ret.), former Chief MilitaryRepresentative of the RF at NATO, Senior Research  Fellow, Department for Military-Political Research,  Institute for the US and Canadian Studies, Russian  Academy of Sciences (ISKRAN);
11. Vladimir LukinRussian Ambassador to the United States (1992- 1994), director on the board of the Nuclear Threat  Initiative (NTI), Deputy Chair of the Foreign Affairs  Committee of the Federation Council of the RF
12. Alexander NikitinDirector, Center for Euro-Atlantic Security, Moscow  State Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation  (MGIMO), Honorary President of the Russian  Association of Political Science
13. Mikhail NosovMember of Directorate, Institute of Europe of the  Russian Academy of Sciences (IERAS)
14. Sergey OznobishevHead, Department of Military and Political Analysis
  and Research Projects, Primakov Institute of World  Economy and International Relations (IMEMO)
15. Pavel PalazhchenkoHead of Press Office, Gorbachev Foundation
16. Alexander PanovAmbassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary,  Honored Member of the Russian Diplomatic Service,  Head, Department of Diplomacy MGIMO University
17. Sergey RogovAcademic Director, Institute for the US and Canadian  Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (ISKRAN),  Chairman of the International Security Advisory  Board of the Scientific Council at the Security Council  of the Russian Federation; Member of the Russian  Academy of Sciences
18. Pavel SharikovLeading Research Fellow, Department of the  European Integration, Institute of Europe of the  Russian Academy of Sciences (IERAS)
19. Igor SherbakFormer First Deputy of the PermanentRepresentative of the RF at the United Nations,  Leading Research Fellow, Institute of Europe of the  Russian Academy of Sciences (IERAS)
20. Alexey StepanovResearch Fellow, Department for Military-Political Studies, Institute for the US and Canadian Studies,  Russian Academy of Sciences (ISKRAN)
21. Nataliya StepanovaResearch Fellow, Department for Military-Political  Studies, Institute for the US and Canadian Studies,  Russian Academy of Sciences (ISKRAN)
22. Alexander UsoltsevHead, International Relations Department, Russian  Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR)
23. Fedor VoytolovskyDirector, Primakov National Research Institute of  World Economy and International Relations  (IMEMO), Corresponding Member of the Russian  Academy of Sciences
24. Igor YurgensPresident of the All-Russian Insurance Association,  Member of the Board of the Russian Union of  Industrialists and Entrepreneurs
25. Andrey ZagorskiyHead, Department for Disarmament and Conflict  Resolution Studies, Primakov National Research  Institute for World Economy and International  Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences  (IMEMO)
26. Pavel ZolotarevMajor General (ret.), Leading Research Fellow,  Department of Military-Political Studies, Institute for  the US and Canadian Studies, Russian Academy of  Sciences (ISKRAN)
Western signatories
 Name Position
27. James ActonCo-director, Nuclear Policy ProgramCarnegie Endowment for International Peace
28. Roy AllisonProfessor of Russian and Eurasian International  Relations, Director, Russian and Eurasian Studies
  Centre, St. Anthony’s College, Oxford
29. James BindenagelAmbassador (ret.), Henry Kissinger Professor, Center  for Advanced Security, Strategy and Integration  Studies Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität  Bonn
30. Sharan BurrowGeneral Secretary, International Trade Union  Confederation
31. Richard BurtChairman of Global Zero US, US Chief Negotiator in  the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks with the former  Soviet Union, former US Ambassador to Germany
32. Samuel CharapFormer Senior Advisor to the Undersecretary of State  for Arms Control and International Security
33. Pierce CordenFormer division chief, United States Arms Control  and Disarmament Agency and research fellow at the  Center for Science,Technology and Security Policy, Amer. Assoc. for the  Advancement of Science
34. Christopher DavisProfessorial Research Fellow, University of Oxford
35. Marc FinaudHead of Arms Proliferation and Diplomatic  Tradecraft, Geneva Centre for Security Policy
36. Nancy GallagherDirector, Center for International and Security  Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
37. Helmut W. GanserBrigadier General (ret.), Defence Advisor to the  German NATO Delegation 2004-2008, Brussels
38. Joseph GersonPresident, Campaign for Peace, Disarmament &  Common Security
39. Alexander GraefResearch Fellow, Institute for Peace Research and  Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH)
40. Thomas GrahamManaging director, Kissinger Associates, Inc.
41. Thomas GremingerDirector of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy  (GCSP), former Secretary General of theOrganization for Security and Co-operation in Europe  (OSCE)
42. Sven HirdmanAmbassador to Russia 1994-2004, State Secretary  Ministry of Defence of Sweden (1979-1982);
43. Jon HuntsmanFormer Ambassador to Russia, former Governor of  Utah
44. Daryl KimballExecutive Director, Arms Control Association
45. Lawrence KorbUS Navy Captain (ret.), former Assistant Secretary of  Defense, Reagan Administration, Senior Research  Fellow, Center for American Progress, and Senior  Advisor, Defense Information Center;
46. Reinhard KrummDirector, FES Office for Peace and Security,  Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
47. Ruediger LuedekingAmbassador (ret), former Deputy Commissioner of  the German Federal Government for Disarmament  and Arms Control
48. Douglas LuteLieutenant General (rt.), US Ambassador to NATO,  2013-2017, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center, Harvard
49. Jack MatlockUS Ambassador to the Soviet Union (1987-1991)
50. Hanna NotteSenior Research Associate, Vienna Center for  Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP)
51. Sam NunnFormer U.S. Senator, Co-chair, NTI
52. Olga OlikerPhD, Adjunct Professor, Johns Hopkins University  School of Advanced International Studies
53. Janusz OnyszkiewiczFormer Minister of National Defense of Poland
54. Zachary PaikinResearcher, EU Foreign Policy at the Centre for  European Policy Studies (CEPS)
55. William PerryFormer US Secretary of Defense, Director of the  Preventive Defense Project at CISAC, FSI Senior  Fellow
56. Andreas PersboResearch Director, ELN
57. Nicolai PetroProfessor of Political Science, University of Rhode  Island
58. Thomas PickeringFormer US Under Secretary of State, former  Ambassador to Jordan, Nigeria, El Salvador, Israel,  the United Nations, India and Russia
59. Steven PiferFormer US Ambassador to Ukraine, nonresident  senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and  research fellow at Stanford University;
60. William PotterSam Nunn and Richard Lugar Professor of  Nonproliferation Studies, Middlebury Institute of  International Studies at Monterey
61. Wolfgang RichterColonel (ret.), Senior Military Advisor of the  Permanent Representation of Germany to the OSCE,  Vienna (2005–2009); Senior Associate, International  Security Division, German Institute for International  and Security Affairs, Berlin (SWP)
62. Cynthia Roberts,Professor of Political Science, Hunter College, City  University of New York, Senior Research Scholar,  Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies Columbia University
63. Lynn RustenVice President for Global Nuclear Policy, Nuclear  Threat Initiative
64. Kevin RyanBrigadier-General (ret), Senior Fellow, Harvard  Kennedy School Belfer Center
65. Vladimir SenkoFormer Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of  Belarus
66. Reiner SchwalbBrigadier-General (ret), National German  Representative at NATO Allied Command  Transformation, Norfolk/VA, 2007-2010; German  Senior Defense Official and Attache to the Russian  Federation, Moscow, 2011–2018
67. Stefano SilvestriSenior Scientifi c Advisor at Istituto Affari  Internazionali (IAI), former Under Secretary of State  for Defence, former President of IAI (2001-2013);
68. Graham StaceySenior Consulting Fellow, ELN, former Chief of Staff
  of NATO Transformation
69. Strobe TalbottDistinguished fellow in the Foreign Policy program at  the Brookings Institution, Deputy Secretary of State  (1994-2001), President of the Brookings Institution  (2002-2017)
70. Bruno TertraisDeputy Director, Fondation pour la recherche  stratégique (Foundation for Strategic Research, FRS)
71. Greg ThielmannBoard member of the Arms Control Association,  Commissioner of the U.S.-Russian-German “Deep  Cuts” Project;
72. Adam ThomsonDirector of the European leadership network,  Permanent UK representative to NATO (2014-2016)
73. José M Treviño RuizAdmiral SP Navy (retired)
74. Harlan UllmanSenior Advisor, Atlantic Council
75. Alexander VershbowFormer Assistant Secretary of Defense, former NATO  Deputy Secretary General; former US Ambassador to  South Korea, NATO, Russia; Distinguished Visiting  Fellow at University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World  House; Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council.
76. Dov ZakheimVice Chair, Foreign Policy Research Institute, Former  Under Secretary of Defense

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