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The HSE University in collaboration with Harvard University and partner organizations has completed the first 2021/22 Boot Camp of the Arms Control Negotiation Academy (ACONA)

As a member of the Project Affiliates team Lev Sokolshchik (Research Fellow, Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies – CCEIS), took part in the work of the first ACONA Boot Camp, which had been held from 16 to 20 August 2021. During the camp, scientific discussions, lectures, reports, and workshops were held. The list of the participants included leading world experts in the fields of International Relations, Negotiations, Global and Regional security.

As the project coordinator Lev Sokolshchik on behalf of HSE University addressed the ACONA fellows from the USA, Europe, Russia, and a number of other countries with a welcoming speech on the first day of the Boot Camp. In addition, as a super chair for one of the days, which included the Negotiation Exercise “Harborco” and a scientific session on the topic "Justice and Equality in International Relations".

The training class for participants of the project was conducted by Alex Nerbass and Arvid Bell from the Negotiating Task Force (Harvard University). World’s leading experts in the field attended the expert discussion - Vincent Intondi (Associate Professor of History at Montgomery College, a Director of Research, Nuclear Studies Institute, American University) and Olamide Samuel (Research Associate at the University of Leicester, Senior Teaching Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London).

One of the key experts on the topic of multilateral strategic stability was Dmitry Suslov (member of the international advisory board of ACONA, deputy director of the CCEIS). On the third day of the camp, he made a comprehensive report at the session "Strategic Stability In A Multipolar World: What Does it Mean?". Dmitry Suslov's speech generated much interest from the experts and participants of the boot camp. Jeffrey Mankoff (Senior Associate with the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies – CSIS) and Amy F. Woolf (Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy in the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division of the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress) also took part in the discussion.

As a part of the final day of the camp, a new ACONA research program was presented, which was developed during weekly consultations of the Working Group (one of the participants of which was Lev Sokolshchik). The new design of the research direction of the project implies the increased participation of experts. As part of the research track, the participants of the project started preparing policy papers on priority subjects of arms control in small research groups. The intermediate results of their work will be presented during the second ACONA Boot Camp in January 2022. The final stage of the research projects will include publications of analytical materials on the world's leading scientific and expert platforms.

The Arms Control Negotiation Academy (ACONA) is an international scientific and educational project conducted jointly by the HSE University (CCEIS, Russia), the Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University (USA), Woodrow Wilson Center (USA), Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (Germany), Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre at the University of Iceland (Iceland), Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO, Russia).