8 June 2021
High-Level Group Issues Appeal to Biden and Putin to Reduce Nuclear Weapons Dangers
Call for Results-Oriented Dialogue to Rediscover the Road to a World Free of Nuclear Weapons
(Washington and Moscow)—In advance of the first summit between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joseph R. Biden in Geneva on June 16, a group of American and Russian organizations, international nuclear policy experts, and former senior officials have issued an appeal to the two Presidents. It calls upon them, in their discussions on strategic stability, to take meaningful steps to reduce the risk of nuclear war and make further progress on nuclear arms control.
The statement was organized by leaders of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Pugwash Conferences on Science and Global Affairs, the recipients of the 1995 Nobel Prize for Peace and coordinated by the Arms Control Association.
In the statement, which was delivered to the two governments on June 7, the signatories urge the two presidents to: “Commit to a bilateral strategic dialogue that is regular, frequent, comprehensive and result-oriented, leading to further reduction of the nuclear risk hanging over the world and to the re-discovery of the road to a world free of nuclear weapons.”
Sergey Batsanov of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs emphasized that the summit “could be a launching point for talks on strategic stability in all its aspects. Stability is being eroded by multiple factors- geopolitical, technological, military, doctrinal and others – raising the threat of nuclear war and undermining security of all states. Addressing this issue would also facilitate new nuclear arms control and disarmament negotiations.”
Ira Helfand, past president of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, said: “It is urgent that President Biden and President Putin reaffirm the ground-breaking statement issued by Gorbachev and Reagan in 1985 that ‘a nuclear war can not be won and must never be fought.’”“U.S. and Russia are still armed with thousands of nuclear weapons. It is by no means certain that the two sides will continue to have enough good luck, responsible leadership, and managerial competence to avoid catastrophe,” warned Rachel Bronson, president of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. “We urge the two presidents to seize the opportunity their summit provides to put us back on the road toward a world free of nuclear weapons.”
Among the other signatories of the Appeal are: Peter Bujis, chair of the Netherlands IPPNW, who initiated the Appeal; Professor Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, Secretary-General of the Pugwash Conferences; Amb. Sergio Duarte, president of the Pugwash Conferences; Academician Alexandre Dynkin, Chair, Russian Pugwash Committee; William J. Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense; A General Vyacheslav Trubnikov, IMEMO (Institute of World Economy and International Relations); Joan Rohlfing, president of the Nuclear Threat Initiative.
Media Contacts: Sergey Batsanov, Pugwash Conference (+41-791-554-610); Ira Helfand, past president, IPPNW (1-413-320-7829); Rachel Bronson, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (1-312-404-3071); Daryl Kimball, executive director, Arms Control Association (202) 463-8270 ext. 107.