News / Europe

Analysts: Russia's Crimea Annexation Threatens Anti-Nuclear Efforts

Crimea Annexation May Threaten Anti-Nuclear Effortsi
X
Kent Klein
March 22, 2014 10:01 PM
Ukraine handed over its former Soviet nuclear arsenal to Russia in the 1990s. Now, as VOA's Kent Klein reports, some experts are asking whether Russia's maneuvers in Ukraine might undermine efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear arms.
VIDEO: Ukraine handed over its former Soviet nuclear arsenal to Russia in the 1990s. Now, as VOA's Kent Klein reports, some experts are asking whether Russia's maneuvers in Ukraine might undermine efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear arms.
Kent Klein
Ukraine handed its former Soviet nuclear arsenal to Russia in the 1990s in exchange for assurances that the Kremlin would respect Ukraine's sovereignty.

Now some experts are asking whether Russia's annexation of Crimea might undermine efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear arms.

According to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Russia's occupation of the Black Sea peninsula unequivocally violates the 1994 Budapest Memorandum — an official pledge signed by the Russian Federation, the United States and Britain — to respect Ukraine's territorial integrity and political sovereignty.

Both China and France provided similar assurances in 1994.

Meeting with Brazil's foreign minister, Fabius said the situation may discourage nuclear powers from giving up their arsenals, and persuade those without nuclear weapons to acquire them in order to protect their territory.

According to James Goldgeier, Dean of the American University School of International Service in Washington, Moscow's violation of the agreement could have a chilling effect on nonproliferation efforts.

"You're basically sending a signal to every other country out there to think twice about either giving up nuclear weapons or not pursuing them in the first place, because if Ukraine had a nuclear deterrent, you wouldn't see the Russians moving against Ukraine," he said.

Daryl Kimball, who leads the Arms Control Association, says Budapest was not a Western commitment to protect Ukraine's sovereignty by force. Still, he says Russia's actions could mean trouble.

"But I think, you know, this incident, if it's not addressed properly by the United States and Russia and our allies in Europe, could shake confidence in the security assurances that are issued by the nuclear arms P-5," he said, referring to the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

Ukraine did not want to keep its nuclear weapons anyway, according to John Haines of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, who spoke to VOA from Philadelphia via Skype.

"This was an arsenal that was in a poor state of repair, that was going to be difficult to maintain, and that probably posed more of a domestic risk within Ukraine than its deterrent effect on any other nation," he said.

Kimball says other countries that could abandon nuclear weapons will base their decisions on other factors as well.

"Those countries that could potentially eliminate their nuclear arsenals, including North Korea, are going to do so on the basis of arrangements that go well beyond a political document that provides some sort of security assurances," Kimball said, adding that the impact Russia's annexation of Crimea will have on global nonproliferation efforts remain to be seen.

You May Like

Forest Stands Between Nigeria, Victory Over Boko Haram

Military takes back nearly all towns, villages in northeast, except for massive expanse of forest that spreads thousands of square kilometers over several states More

IS Recruiting Stokes Fears for Parents in Georgia

Chechens are notable part of Islamic State's gains in Syria and Iraq, and analysts fear what might happen if those fighters return to Caucasus More

Yarmouk Camp Becomes Distant Memory for Palestinian Diaspora

Once thriving capital of Palestinian diaspora, after siege by Syrian government forces and Islamic State group, camp becomes 'deepest circle of hell' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dave from: Illinos
March 23, 2014 4:34 PM
In1938 in order to protect German speaking people in Czechoslovakia, they walkedin with everyone welcoming them. Then they annexed the country. So Russia is repeating history. @ that time Europe did nothing, peace in our time. 1 year late WWII. Broke out. Are e on the cusps of wwIII?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'i
X
Sharon Behn
April 21, 2015 9:18 PM
A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten. Sharon Behn reports on the politics of the word genocide on the 100th anniversary of the events.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video German Program Helps Migrants Overcome Traumatic Experience at Sea

Migrants fleeing poverty and violence in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia risk life and limb to reach safety in Europe. Those who have made it to European shores are traumatized by the experience. A program in Germany helps survivors overcome the trauma by giving a new perspective to their catastrophic experience. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs