Why Russia won't attend upcoming nuclear summit

Russia's Foreign Ministry said that Moscow will focus instead on expanding cooperation within the International Atomic Energy Agency, a UN nuclear watchdog.

Alexei Druzhinin, Presidential Press Service/RIA-Novosti/AP
Russian President Vladimir Putin visits the Lifegiving Trinity Church in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014.

Russia said Wednesday it has decided not to engage in preparations for a nuclear summit in Washington, arguing that it serves little purpose and gives too much weight to the US.

The statement was the first confirmation by Moscow that it intends to snub the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. US and European officials have earlier told The Associated Press that Moscow refused to participate.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in the statement that the three previous such summits have largely fulfilled the set goals and the new meeting could add little value to that. It also argued that the US has tried to assume the role of "the main and privileged player" at the forum.

The ministry claimed that the US along with the Netherlands and South Korea that hosted the previous summits would play a dominant role in preparing the summit's documents, something that Moscow considers unfair. It also argued that the final documents of the Washington summit would set the agenda for international organizations, an approach Russia considers wrong.

"We believe it's unacceptable to create a precedent of such outside interference into planning the work of international organizations, which have a more solid expertise and rely on democratic procedures," the statement said.

The ministry said that Moscow will focus instead on expanding cooperation within the International Atomic Energy Agency, a UN nuclear watchdog.

It said that Russia had informed the US about its decision in mid-October, adding that it saw the leaks in the media as an attempt to force Moscow to change its stance. The relations between Moscow and Washington are at their lowest point since Cold War times over Russia's annexation of Crimea and support for insurgents in eastern Ukraine.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday that Russia informed the US that it no longer planned to participate in the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit.

She added, however, that "the United States and Russia continue to work productively on nuclear security issues through other channels," pointing at their participation in Iran nuclear talks and joint efforts to help eliminate chemical weapons in Syria.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Why Russia won't attend upcoming nuclear summit
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today