Russia's work with international partners to eliminate Syrian chemical weapons could encourage Moscow to consider additional cuts to its own nuclear forces, an analyst told the Inter Press Service for a Wednesday report.
Carnegie Center Moscow specialist Petr Topychkanov said "there is some hope of change" following Russia's work with the United States and other countries on a framework for destroying chemical arms held by Bashar Assad's government.
“What that did is that it set a good example of cooperation between Russia and other countries on getting rid of weapons of mass destruction," Topychkanov said. "It sends a signal that Russia can stimulate discussion with other countries on disarmament, even though in this case it was not nuclear weapons."
He added: "Russia does not see nuclear disarmament just through the prism of U.S.-Russia disarmament alone. Moscow wants to engage other countries in disarmament agreements."
"These are not necessarily about multilateral agreements, such as between the P-5 permanent U.N. Security Council nations, to all disarm, as that would be impossible. But they are looking to promote many bilateral agreements," Topychkanov said.
Another analyst suggested Moscow sees no "compelling reason to change" its nuclear-weapons policies.
"Domestically, the public is not particularly friendly to nuclear disarmament and internationally, they would like to see at least some movement from others," said Nikolai Sokov, a fellow with the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation.
Sokov said Washington sometimes cites "domestic politics" in justifying the U.S. pace on nuclear-arms reductions, and Russia responds by asking, "Why should we bear the burden? Everybody needs to pitch in."