Escalation spiral in the region
Military, political, and economic tensions continue to escalate in Eastern Europe.Strategic stability
The remaining pillars of strategic stability keep collapsing, which poses major risks to Eastern Europe. Examples include Russia’s decision
to suspend U.S. inspections in its territory under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). Moscow cited
its inability to conduct similar inspections in the U.S. because of the U.S.’ restrictions. Furthermore, Washington halted dialogue exploring possibilities for a new treaty to replace New START, which expires in 2026, although on 1 August, Joe Biden reiterated
the U.S.’ fundamental interest in negotiating a new framework agreement. The Russian Federation appears to share
The outcomes of the Review Conference
of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which took place in New York on 1–26 August, became the second serious blow to strategic stability. Discussions at the conference were expectedly politically overshadowed by the war in Ukraine, and in the end the participating states failed to adopt the final document. Although Russia does not believe
the conference failed, it is clear that the entire NPT system is in a state of crisis and that many non-nuclear weapon states have been additionally motivated to reconsider their attitude to the hypothetical acquisition of nuclear weapons.Militarisation
Russia has redeployed
three MiG-31 fighter-interceptors carrying Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic missiles to the Kaliningrad Region for the purpose of strategic deterrence. The aircraft will be on round-the-clock combat duty. On 25 August, Putin signed a decree
to recruit 137,000 more staff into the country’s armed forces starting 1 January 2023. The total strength of the Russian army will be 2,039,758, of which 1,150,628 servicemen.
Aliaksandr Lukashenka announced
that the conversion of military aircraft so they could carry nuclear arms had been completed. No exact data on the type and number of adapted planes were provided.
contracts with South Korean companies to supply a large batch of military equipment, including tanks, self-propelled howitzers, and aircraft. Those were the largest contracts in the history of South Korea’s defence industry. Poland is the first foreign customer for K-2 tanks, which are scheduled to be delivered in 2022–2025.
Estonia and Finland are in talks over an integrated missile defence system. According to Estonia’s defence minister
, the initiative would close access to the Gulf of Finland for Russian warships.
The U.S. plans
to name the military mission supporting Kyiv and appoint a general to lead it.