Security Co-operation between Russia and Ukraine in the by Deborah Sanders

By Deborah Sanders

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9 He goes on to point out that the command and control of tactical nuclear weapons, 'while extensive', does not appear as strict as those governing strategic nuclear weapons. 12 Bruce G. Blair claims that the consolidation of tactical nuclear weapons in Russia would 'eliminate the problem of inter-republic conflict involving the use of tactical nuclear weapons, and greatly alleviate the dangers of captured or stolen weapons falling into the hands of third countries'. 16 Eugene Rummer claims that a nuclear Ukraine could pose a potential security threat to the Russian Federation on the grounds that the 'presence of nuclear weapons in Ukraine leaves Russia poten- Tactical Nuclear Weapons 27 tially vulnerable to the prospect of a hostile, unstable, nuclear armed state, emerging directly on its border'.

118 Ukraine's defection was also perceived by the US as posing a threat to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty signed by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 in which the Soviet Union and the US agreed to drastic reductions in their strategic nuclear arms. 119 International concern about the safety and security of the tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine emerged as a major issue after Ukraine's decision to hold a referendum on independence heralded the inevitable disintegration of the Soviet Union. Articles began appearing in both the Russian and western press calling attention to Toose nukes'.

He claimed that Russia's imperial legacy necessitates caution and Ukraine's independence could be jeopardised by Russia's failure to comply with the agreements signed between the two states: Most MPs think we cannot just give weapons to Russia. It would upset the balance of power between Russia and Ukraine. We're afraid of Russia if you like. We're fighting for independence from Russia. 94 In light of the possible consequences of co-operation with a state that posed a threat to Ukraine's future security, some members of the Ukrainian Rada believed that Ukraine should attempt to decommission the nuclear weapons itself.

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