Ukraine’s Nuclear Disarmament 

Editorial Analysis for IAS - Ukraine’s Nuclear Disarmament

Ukraine’s Nuclear Disarmament 


  • Amidst the war between Ukraine and Russia, the status of non-nuclear weapon state of the state of Ukraine has come into relevance.


  • Apart from the borders of Belarus and Kazakhstan, Soviet nuclear weapons were present on Ukrainian territory after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
  • Over 1,900 strategic warheads, 2,500 tactical warheads, 176 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and 44 bombers were among the weapons.
  • On December 30, 1991, 11 countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) signed the Minsk Declaration on Strategic Forces, pledging to hand up all nuclear weapons stationed on their territory to the Russian government, as per Article IV.
  • With the Lisbon Protocol of 1992, political and diplomatic efforts to remove Russian nuclear weapons from Ukraine began. Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan agreed to ratify the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and join the Non-Proliferation Treaty as part of the protocol (NPT)


  • Russia and Ukraine began bilateral negotiations on nuclear dismantlement in September 1993.
  • However, disagreements over guarantees for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, as well as the costs of dismantling nuclear weapons, prevented the signing of a final document.
  • Following that, on 14 January 1994, Ukraine and the United States signed the ‘Trilateral Statement,’ in which Ukraine promised to complete disarmament of strategic and tactical weapons in exchange for economic and security assurances on NPT membership as a non-nuclear weapon state.


Way Forward:

  • The failure of International Organisations including the United Nations has been evident.
  • It has failed to protect the security interests of the weaker countries.
  • The Russian military action in Ukraine will have negative consequences for the sanctity of international order and peaceful resolution of border disputes.


        Source The Hindu

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