MOSCOW, June 27. /TASS/. The world’s leading security experts wrote an open letter addressed to Russian and US Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump calling on the two leaders to reverse the negative trend in bilateral relations at the upcoming meeting in Hamburg. The document was posted on the website of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) on Tuesday.
The letter was signed by former British Defense Secretary, Vice Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative and Executive Board Member of the European Leadership Network Desmond Browne, former German Ambassador to the US, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference Wolfgang Ischinger, former Russian Foreign Minister and Security Council Secretary, President of the Russian International Affairs Council Igor Ivanov and former Chairman of the US Senate Armed Services Committee and Co-Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative Sam Nunn.
"The chasm between Russia and the West appears to be wider now than at any point since the Cold War," the letter reads. "Your first meeting in Hamburg will be a unique opportunity to underscore that, despite significant differences, the United States, Russia, and Europe can and must work together on areas of existential common interest - chief among them reducing nuclear and other military risks, and preventing catastrophic terrorist attacks."
According to its authors, "the starting point could be a new joint statement by the two leaders that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought." That step "would be positively received by global leaders and publics," the letter said.
The next steps could be "to increase military-to-military communication through a new NATO-Russia Military Crisis Management Group," restart bilateral military-to-military dialogue between the United States and Russia, "to collaborate to prevent ISIS and other terrorist groups from acquiring nuclear and radiological materials through a joint initiative to prevent WMD terrorism" and discussions aimed at "reaching at least informal understandings on cyber dangers related to interference in strategic warning systems and nuclear command and control."
"Russia, the United States, and Europe are confronting a range of significant issues today. But none should distract from urgently pursuing practical steps now that can stop the downward spiral in relations and reduce real dangers. The steps we have identified here are a good place to begin. We respectfully urge you to start now in Hamburg," the letter’s authors concluded.