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Timeline

1953
December 8 President Dwight Eisenhower delivers Atoms for Peace speech at United Nations .
1955
1955 American and Soviet nuclear scientists meet at the first International Conferences on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in Geneva.
1957
1957 International Atomic Energy Agency is established in Vienna.
1958
1958 American and Soviet nuclear scientists meet at the second International Conferences on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in Geneva.
1958 First Soviet scientific delegation visits Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.
1958 to 1961
Soviet Union and United States observe nuclear testing moratorium.
1963
1963 Premier Nikita Khrushchev and President John F. Kennedy sign Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty limiting nuclear testing to underground.
1974
1974 President Richard Nixon and General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev sign Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT), limiting yields of underground nuclear tests to 150 kilotons. Followed in 1976 by the signing the Peaceful Nuclear Explosion Treaty (PNET) by President Gerald Ford and General Secretary Brezhnev.
1983
March 23 President Ronald Reagan announces Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).
November Frank von Hippel of the Federation of American Scientists and colleagues accept invitation to discuss arms control in Moscow from the Committee of Soviet Scientists for the Defense of Peace Against the Nuclear Threat of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
1985
March 11 Mikhail Gorbachev is elected General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He initiates glasnost and perestroika reforms over next several years and pursues dйtente with President Reagan.
1986
October 1 to October 2
General Secretary Gorbachev and President Reagan hold Reykjavik Summit. They nearly agree to eliminate nuclear weapons, but Gorbachev backs off because of Reagan’s insistence on retaining SDI.
1987
December 8 At Washington summit, Reagan and Gorbachev sign Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Secretary of State George Shultz and Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduard Shevardnadze agree to design and conduct a Joint Verification Experiment (JVE).

1988
1988 US and Soviet scientists collaborate on a JVE to measure nuclear explosion yields on site at each other’s nuclear weapons test sites.

Tests conducted August 17, 1988, at Nevada Test Site and September 14 at Semipalatinsk Test Site.

1988 to 1990
US and Soviet delegations, with the advice of technical experts from their countries’ respective nuclear design laboratories, hold Nuclear Testing Talks in Geneva on Verification Protocols to facilitate ratification of the TTBT and PNET.
1989
July The National Resources Defense Council and the Russian Academy of Sciences jointly conduct a series of tests known as the Black Sea experiment to evaluate methods for detecting nuclear warheads on ships to demonstrate verification methods germane to the strategic arms reduction treaty.
July 3 to July 7
Scientific leaders from VNIIEF and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) meet at the Megagauss-V Conference on explosive pulsed power in Novosibirsk, USSR, and lay the foundation for joint research for years to come.
November 9 The Berlin Wall falls, leading to the reunification of Germany in 1990. The Baltic States and Georgia declare independence during the next two years.
1990
1990 Soviet nuclear weapons institute leaders invite LANL and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists to first visits to Russian closed cities and propose scientific cooperation. Video link
December TTBT and PNET are ratified with additional protocols and enter into force.
1991
July 31 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-I) is signed in Moscow by President Mikhail Gorbachev and President George H. W. Bush.
August 12 Attempted coup against the Gorbachev government sparks international concern over instability in the USSR and command and control of its nuclear weapons.
August 29 The Semipalatinsk Test Site is officially closed by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
December 12 President Bush signs Nunn-Lugar Act (later called the Cooperative Threat Reduction or CTR program).
December 25 Gorbachev resigns, marking the final stage of the dissolution of the Soviet Union into 15 independent states. Boris Yeltsin assumes full authority as first president of the Russian Federation. The Russian Federation takes over the Soviet Union’s seat as permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
1992
1992 At Zababakhin Scientific Readings in Kyshtym, LANL scientists Irvin Lindemuth and Robert Reinovsky extend an invitation on behalf of LANL Director Siegfried Hecker to the Russian nuclear weapons laboratory directors to visit the US weapons labs.
1992 The Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Defense and Sandia National Laboratories meet with Minatom officials to initiate the Safe, Secure Dismantlement Technical Exchange Program.
January President Yeltsin reorganizes the Soviet Ministry of Atomic Power and Industry into the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Atomic Energy (Minatom) and decides to keep both civilian and defense programs in the ministry.
February Russian Lab Directors Vladimir A. Belugin of VNIIEF and Vladimir Z. Nechai of VNIITF visit LLNL and LANL to initiate the lab directors’ exchange visits.

Two weeks later, US Laboratory Director, John Nuckolls of LLNL and Siegfried Hecker of LANL visit VNIIEF and VNIITF, marking the beginning of lab-to-lab scientific cooperation.

February 14 Secretary of State James Baker visits VNIITF and announces the establishment of an International Science Center, later to become the International Science and Technology (ISTC) program.
March 2 Yeltsin appoints Viktor Mikhailov as first Minister of the Ministry of Atomic Energy (Minatom).
May Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine sign Lisbon Protocol to START-I, agreeing to accede to the nonproliferation treaty as non-nuclear-weapons states and to destroy or return to Russia all nuclear weapons on their territories.
May The first lab-to-lab science collaboration meeting between LANL and VNIIEF is held in Moscow with the Los Alamos delegation headed by Steve Younger.
October First US-Russian workshop on computational methods is held at LLNL.
October Hatfield-Exon-Mitchell Amendment establishes an interim moratorium on nuclear testing through July 1, 1993, and directs that a comprehensive test ban be negotiated by 1996. President Bush announces the United States will not build nuclear weapons with new military capabilities.
1993
January 20 President William Clinton is sworn into office. Les Aspin is named defense secretary and William Perry is named deputy secretary.
February Russia and the United States sign an agreement on the disposition of highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Russian nuclear weapons, a concept proposed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Thomas Neff and known as the HEU Purchase Agreement.
April Academicians Evgeny Avrorin (VNIITF) and Yuri Trutnev (VNIIEF) attend 50th anniversary celebration of the founding of LANL as guests of Director Hecker. They go on to visit Sandia and Argonne national laboratories.
July Clinton issues PDD-11 to extend US nuclear testing moratorium and pursue comprehensive test ban negotiations.
September Industrial Partnership Program (IPP), later to become Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention, is launched to support scientific conversion in Russian nuclear weapons complex.
September 22 Los Alamos and VNIIEF scientists conduct the first US-Russian lab-to-lab experiment using an explosive magnetic generator at VNIIEF.
1994
1994 United States Industry Coalition is formed to provide industrial connections for IPP program.
January LANL Director Hecker and VNIIEF Director Vladimir Belugin sign an umbrella agreement at Los Alamos for scientific and technical cooperation, including nuclear Materials Protection, Control, and Accounting (MPC&A).
June Hecker signs first MPC&A contracts in Russia with officials of VNIIEF, VNIITF, and the Kurchatov Institute to begin a lab-to-lab MPC&A program, authorized by DOE Under Secretary Charles Curtis.
July IPP funds for FY94 are allocated to US labs and Russian institutes for defense conversion at former Soviet nuclear facilities.
October 17 to October 21
Curtis commits DOE to fund lab-to-lab MPC&A program of cooperation during a visit to Russia.
December 16 US Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary and RF Minister Mikhailov sign the Warhead Safety and Security Exchange Agreement (WSSX).
1995
1995 Nunn-Lugar-Domenici legislation assigns responsibility for lab-to-lab MPC&A program directly to DOE.
June 1 WSSX Agreement enters into force.
August Clinton announces decision to seek a global, zero-nuclear yield Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
December 13 to December 14
US and Russian delegations led by Minatom First Deputy Minister Lev Ryabev and DOE Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs Victor Reis meet in London to discuss scientific and technical aspects of ensuring safety and security of nuclear stockpiles under a CTBT.
1996
1996 Ukraine completes elimination of its nuclear weapons as part of Nunn-Lugar CTR program, following earlier elimination by Kazakhstan and Belarus of their former Soviet nuclear arms.
1996 Senator Pete Domenici visits Sarov and Moscow to promote US-Russia nuclear security cooperation.
1996 Navy cooperative program on MPC&A begins after Admiral Vladimir Grishanov arranges for visit by American representatives to Severomorsk (the headquarters of the Northern Fleet) and the navy’s consolidated fuel storage facility.
March 21 Clinton issues PDD-47 on the implementation of scientific and technical cooperation related to nuclear stockpile safety and security and CTBT monitoring and verification.
June Victor Reis of DOE, accompanied by weapons laboratory directors, attends 50th anniversary of founding of VNIIEF.
September 24 President Clinton signs the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Seventy nations, including Russia, follow in next two days.
1998
1998 The DOE initiates new Second Line of Defense program, a cooperative program to prevent illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials across international borders.
April Los Alamos team of Siegfried Hecker, John Phillips, and Jim Toevs visit Semipalatinsk Test Site as guests of Kairat Kadyrzhanov of Kazakhstan National Nuclear Center. They lay the groundwork for the Semipalatinsk nuclear materials security cooperation.
September Agreement on Nuclear Cities Initiative (NCI) is framed and signed at ministerial level. The development of the Sarov Open Computer Center is initiated by LANL as the first project under the NCI agreement.
1999
1999 LANL launches accelerated conversion program in Sarov and Joint Defense Conversion Study with Minatom and VNIIEF personnel, both as part of the NCI program.
September 30 to October 1
Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson and Minatom Minister Evgeny Adamov visit Sarov for dedication of NCI Sarov Open Computer Center.
December 31 Vladimir Putin is appointed to succeed Boris Yeltsin as president of Russia. On March 26, 2000, Putin wins election for his first four-year term.
2000
2000 DOE Under Secretary of Energy Moniz and Academician Nikolai Laverov, Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, hold the first Actinide Chemistry Workshop at the Academy in Moscow as part of implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Science and Technology between DOE and RAS signed in March 1999.
2000 US Congress establishes the National Nuclear Security Administration as a semiautonomous agency within the DOE. Gen. John Gordon is named first administrator.
April DOE Under Secretary Ernest Moniz and Minatom First Deputy Minister Lev Ryabev agree that lab-to-lab Warhead Dismantlement Transparency Program comes under the WSSX framework.
May DOE Assistant Secretary Rose Gottemoeller meets with Ryabev and Kazakhstan Minister Vladimir Shkolnik in Moscow to approve Semipalatinsk project.
2001
2001 Ted Turner and Sam Nunn found the Nuclear Threat Initiative. They become joint chairmen and chief executive officers and Charles Curtis becomes chief operating officer.
January 20 George W. Bush is inaugurated as president of the United States.
June 14 to June 15
First US-Russian Plutonium Science Workshop takes place in Sarov.
September 11 The United States suffers terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon.
2002
2002 NCI and IPP are combined into a single program under the heading Russian Transitions Initiative.
June At the 2002 G-8 Summit in Kananaskis, Canada, leaders launch the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.
2005
2005 For FY 2006 budget the Russian Transition Initiative is renamed the Global Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention in the Department of Energy.
February 23 to February 25
The Putin-Bush Summit in Bratislava initiates counter nuclear terrorism cooperation and extends US-Russian security cooperation to additional Ministry of Defense sites in Russia.
June The WSSX agreement expires and is not extended.
2008
May Dmitry Medvedev is elected president of the Russian Federation and Vladimir Putin is installed as prime minister.
2010
July Ilkaev, Avrorin, and Hecker meet in Moscow and agree to write a book about lab-to-lab nuclear cooperation.
August 11 Russian President Medvedev signs a decree confirming Russia's intention to withdraw from the agreement that established the ISTC.
2011
January 12 US-RF agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, referred to as the US-Russia 123 Agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation goes into effect.
February 5 New START, signed by Presidents Barack Obama and Medvedev, enters into force.
2012
April Workshops are held in Nizhny Novgorod, Sarov, and Moscow to prepare material for lab-to-lab book.
2013
2013 A lab-to-lab conference is held at Russia’s National Research Nuclear University (MEPhI). Organizers send a joint letter to DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz and Rosatom Director Gen. Sergei Kirienko supporting renewed nuclear scientific cooperation.
June Moscow informs Washington that it will not renew the CTR umbrella agreement, which provides the legal framework for CTR projects in Russia.
June 14 Immediately prior to the expiration of the 2006 CTR accord, Moscow and Washington sign a new bilateral protocol placing US CTR projects in Russia under the Framework Agreement on a Multilateral Nuclear Environmental Program in the Russian Federation, which was signed in Sweden in May 2003.
September Moniz and Kirienko sign science and technology agreement on nuclear cooperation.
September 9 to September 13
The 13th annual Fundamentals of Plutonium Workshop is held in Sarov.
November Russia completes last shipment of low enriched uranium converted from HEU over past 20 years for a total of 500 metric tons.
2014
February 22 Putin orders work on “returning Crimea” to Russia. Crimea is annexed in March.
December 16 The MPC&A agreement is terminated at a ceremony in Deveevo outside Sarov, and Russia declines further assistance.
2015
2015 Russia and the United States work closely to conclude and implement Iran Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
July 7 The ISTC announces the closing of the ISTC office in Moscow after July 15 and the move of the ISTC Secretariat to Astana, the Republic of Kazakhstan.