A commentary by Dmitry Stefanovich on European Leadership Network


July,14 2020 European Leadership Network published a commentary by Dmitry Stefanovich, research fellow at the Center for International Security, addressing the possible cooperative steps to reduce nuclear risks associated with cyber threats.

"Paragraph 19c of the Basic Principles states: “attack by an adversary against critical governmental or military sites of the Russian Federation, disruption of which would undermine nuclear forces response actions”. This effectively means any interference of any kind against civilian or military infrastructure, which would undermine nuclear retaliation capability. There is a wide consensus within the Russian expert community that this also includes possible cyber threats as well as other non-nuclear dangers.


Given the growing common understanding of the nexus between cyber and nuclear risks, the P5 countries can come up with a set of basic principles that deter nuclear use. The major principle should be to avoid making statements and building or acquiring weapons that might be seen as a push towards obtaining the very capability their P5 partners and adversaries are concerned with: to undermine nuclear retaliation capacity. Such principle could be augmented with another one: a requirement to explain intended missions for the capabilities that are perceived as threatening, should any P5 country express such concerns. Addressing the cyber-nuclear nexus therefore offers an unexpected opening for P5 collaboration and preserving the stability of deterrence between the nuclear weapon states."

Link: https://www.europeanleadershipnetwork.org/commentary/russias-basic-principles-and-the-cyber-nuclear-nexus/

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