To see the original PDF in Russian and the unofficial English translation, click here.

Unofficial translation


Moscow, March 2012

President David Krieger
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
PMB 121, 1187 Coast Village Rd, Suite 1
Santa Barbara, CA, 93108-2794

Dear Mr. Krieger,

I have very attentively read the Open Letter to Presidents of Russia and the US concerning the issue of NATO missile defense plans and their influence on the nuclear disarmament.

I notice the harmony between the ideas expressed in the letter and the fundamental Russian approaches.  We fully share the view that the fact the North Atlanta Alliance refused to include Russia into a joint missile defense is the evidence of its unpreparedness to treat our country as an equitable partner.  This appears to be specifically alarming against the background of enlarging NATO and pursuit of vesting global military functions into the coalition.  One cannot help agreeing to a conclusion that deployment of missile defense system at the very borders of Russia as well as upbuilding system’s capabilities increase the chance of any conventional military confrontation might promptly turn into a nuclear war.  We have numerously been outspoken that such steps taken by the US and NATO undermine strategic stability and make further progress in reducing and limiting nuclear arms problematic.  Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was obliged to remind of this once again in his November 23, 2011 statement.

Russia has always been and will remain a committed opponent to a military confrontation.  Despite the growing hardship we do not close the door either for continuing the dialogue with the US and NATO on missile defense issues or for a practical cooperation in this field.  In this respect we find undoubtedly interesting the idea of the freeze on US/NATO deployment of missile defense facilities until the joint Russian-US assessment of the threats is conducted.  We believe that its acceptance by the US side would radically relieve the tension around the implementation of the US missile defense program.

Let me thank you for the considerations and express my hope for continuing this positive and unbiased dialogue.



Sergey Lavrov