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Simon Saradzhyan

Simon Saradzhyan

Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Contact:
Telephone: 617-496-8228
Fax: 617-496-0606
Email: simon_saradzhyan@hks.harvard.edu

 

 

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(AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov)

March 18, 2015

Knowing when it's war and how to avoid it

Op-Ed, Financial Times

By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

To hear Vladimir Putin say it, Russia is not at war with Ukraine. “I think that this apocalyptic scenario is highly unlikely, and I hope it never comes to that,” Putin said when asked on Russia’s Defender of the Fatherland Day whether his fellow citizens may “wake up one day to learn we are at war” with Ukraine. It can be inferred that the commander-in-chief of the Russian armed force believes (or wants us to believe) that there will be no war between Russia and Ukraine for as long as Moscow refuses to admit to its involvement in the conflict. But is there such a thing as a declared war any more? And how should other European nations respond if they become the target of an undeclared war? What can be done to prevent repetition of the Ukraine scenario elsewhere in Europe?

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

February, 2015

"Arming Ukraine a Risky Escalation"

Op-Ed, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The last several days have seen the once dormant debate—whether or not the U.S. should start supplying weapons to Ukraine—reignite. The debate was revived by the release of a joint report by a group of ex-U.S. officials affiliated with three prominent American think tanks, which recommended that Washington urgently supply anti-tank missiles, counter-battery radars, and other military hardware to the Ukrainian armed forces so that the latter can deter Russia from escalating the conflict in Donbass.

 

 

(AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

January 12, 2013

"NATO-Russian Relations Can Still Be Saved"

Op-Ed, Moscow Times

By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

It is indisputable that the Ukraine crisis has dealt a serious blow to Russia's relations with core members of NATO. It would take many years for Moscow, Washington and Brussels to fully mend the fences even if the conflict in Ukraine were resolved tomorrow.

But as Russia's new military doctrine indicates, the Rubicon in NATO-Russian relations has not been crossed — at least not yet. While naming Russia's allies, the doctrine, which was published on Dec. 26, avoids designating either NATO as a whole or any of its specific members as adversaries.

 

 

November 28, 2013

View From the Global Tank: Iran Deal Only First Step in Long Road

Op-Ed, RIA Novosti

By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

None of the leaders of the countries involved in the Iran nuclear talks in Geneva has failed to claim credit for the successful outcome, and Russian President Vladimir Putin is no exception.

 

 

November 28, 2013

"View From the Global Tank: Iran Deal Only First Step in Long Road"

Op-Ed, RIA Novosti

By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

None of the leaders of the countries involved in the Iran nuclear talks in Geneva has failed to claim credit for the successful outcome, and Russian President Vladimir Putin is no exception.

“Russia has always advocated diplomacy and talks in tackling Iran's nuclear problem…. the Geneva action plan is based precisely on these kind of ideas and approaches,” Putin said.

The Joint Plan of Action caps Iran’s enrichment of uranium at 5 percent for six months, dilutes half of the country's 20 percent-enriched uranium and suspends activities at Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant, Fordow and the Arak reactors in exchange for a modest relief in international sanctions.

 

 

October 11, 2013

View From the Global Tank: Russia, America Struggle to Kick MAD to the Curb

Op-Ed, RIA Novosti

By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

If the Cold War hadn’t ended, the latest update on the number of the intercontinental missiles and bombers that the United States and Russia keep deployed against each other would have surely meant that heads would roll in Moscow. As it transpired from the New START Treaty total numbers, the US has nearly twice as many missiles and bombers deployed as Russia.

 

 

October 2, 2013

"Steps to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism"

Paper

By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Kuznetsov Valentin, Martin B. Malin, Executive Director, Project on Managing the Atom, Yuri Morozov, Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Viktor I. Yesin and Pavel S. Zolotarev

The 2011 “U.S. - Russia Joint Threat Assessment” offered both specific conclusions about the nature of the threat and general observations about how it might be addressed. This report builds on that foundation and analyzes the existing framework for action, cites gaps and deficiencies, and makes specific recommendations for improvement.

 

 

September 30, 2013

"Transcending Mutual Deterrence in the U.S.-Russian Relationship"

Paper

By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Kuznetsov Valentin, Yuri Morozov, Gary Samore, Executive Director for Research, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Viktor I. Yesin and Pavel S. Zolotarev

Even as this paper was being written and edited, U.S.-Russian relations have warmed and chilled. Today, as we are about to go to press, marks a particularly chilly period in recent history, with the cancellation of a planned Moscow Summit in September 2013. To some, this cold spell might signal an inapt moment to consider issues related to transcending mutual deterrence. Such a view would overlook the aims of the paper, which attempts to assess the central and enduring interests of the United States and Russia, the extent to which they coincide or conflict, and whether or not in light of these interests mutual deterrence should remain a fundamental feature of the relationship.

 

 

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

August 1, 2013

"View From the Global Tank: Snowden Has Left the Building: A Gift to US-Russian Relations"

Op-Ed, RIA Novosti

By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"So Snowden has left the building. The NSA leaker’s departure from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, for an undisclosed location in Russia, on Thursday is turning into a real blessing for the US-Russian relationship," writes Simon Saradzhyan. "It may sound perverse, but both Barack Obama, and, to a lesser extent, Vladimir Putin, have good cause to thank the man whom the US government has fruitlessly asked Russia to extradite and whom the Russian government has just granted temporary asylum."

 

 

July 29, 2013

"How U.S., Russia Can Agree on Missile Defense"

Op-Ed, Christian Science Monitor

By Kevin Ryan, Director, Defense and Intelligence Project, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"Relations between the United States and Russia today remind one of the report from the well digger, 'We hit bottom and have started to dig.' Whether it’s over issues like leaker Eric Snowden or Syria and Iran, the US and Russia seem to end up on opposite sides of most major problems," write Kevin Ryan and Simon Saradzhyan. But that trend could soon reverse – at least regarding one contentious subject – missile defense.

 

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