Commentary by Dmitry Stefanovich

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A commentary by Dmitry Stefanovich “The Enduring Complexity Of Compliance Disputes” on the paper by Pavel Podvig and Amy F Woolf titled “Monitoring, Verification, and Compliance Resolution in US–Russian Arms Control” has been published by UNIDIR.

The commentary focuses on the fact that every single bilateral dispute has affected the overall state of arms control architecture, and it is hard to limit the damage caused by disputes in time or ‘space’. Some disputes have been resolved by unilateral concessions. However, when the other party unilaterally withdraws from the regime saved by such concessions it undermines confidence in arms control as a solid foundation for national security.

The destiny of the ABM Treaty is a good example of this trend. Moreover, when one party’s concerns are not properly addressed, there is a good chance that this party won’t be very proactive in trying to satisfy the requests of its counterparts – this contributed to the eventual demise of the INF Treaty.

The paper discussed is a part of UNIDIR WMD Compliance & Enforcement series, a project to which Dmitry Stefanovich contributed as both a reviewer and workshop participant in September 2019.


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