An effort is underway through nongovernmental channels to bring US and Russian negotiators together to discuss new reductions in the countries’ nuclear weapons arsenals, an official with the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development said during a visit to The Catholic University of America.
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi explained during a program at the school on 30th January that the effort involves “a small group of Russian and American experts”.
“There is the backing of the Church, the Vatican. It is promoted on the organisational level by (the nongovernmental organisation) Global Priorities,” the archbishop said.
“We are trying quietly to promote dialogue to create the argument that the two governments should talk and, say, by next year we eliminated another 500 warheads on both sides in a verifiable manner, and then to continue the process until all the bombs are eliminated.”
Washington-based Global Priorities is an international interreligious organisation working to change national and global budget priorities by shifting spending to programs that can alleviate poverty and support human development.
After the program, Archbishop Tomasi confirmed that such an effort was underway.
“It’s a professional group of experts, but with people who are very close to the two administrations and this issue of atomic weapons,” he told Catholic News Service. “This group works to prepare the possibility of the official government delegations to talk among themselves and arrive at taking a step further.”
He clarified that he was involved personally in the effort, not as official Vatican representative.
Picture: President Donald J. Trump participates in a bilateral meeting with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin during the G20 Japan Summit on 28th June 2019, in Osaka, Japan. (Shealah Craighead/UPI).