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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 21, 1993


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    Zlenko sends the Prime Minister of Ukraine a report on the possible consequences of Ukraine not joining the NPT, particularly the succession of Ukraine of to the obligations of the former USSR to the NPT. The report concludes that Ukraine can either ratify the NPT as a non-nuclear state and adhere to its previously stated intentions on nuclear weapons or not ratify the NPT. It suggests that Ukraine should participate in the NPT along with START-1 and the Lisbon Protocol.
    "Minister A.M. Zlenko to Prime Minister of Ukraine L.D. Kuchma," April 21, 1993, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, fond 1, delo 7058. Obtained by Mariana Budjeryn and translated by Volodymyr Valkov.
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To Prime Minister of Ukraine

L.D. Kuchma

In response to No. 941/2t

of 25.03.93

Dear Leonid Danylovych,

In connection with the decision by the Defense Council of Ukraine of March 15, 1993, on immediate measures concerning the implementation of Ukraine’s nuclear policy and the discussion in the near future in Verkhovna Rada of issues related to the ratification of the START Treaty and the Lisbon Protocol, as well as Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of 1968 (NPT), we are sending you an analytical report “Possible Consequences of Ukraine Not Joining the NPT.”

The report, in particular, analyzes the problem of succession of Ukraine to the obligations of the former USSR in regard to the NPT, and concludes that, as of today, Ukraine has only one alternative:

either accede to the NPT as a non-nuclear state and confirm that it is a state that adheres to its proclaimed intentions, and facilitates the strengthening of the non-proliferation regime and international security,

or despite its earlier declared intention take no decision about the Treaty at this point and, effectively, remain outside its fold.

From the MFA’s vantage point, the most substantial negative consequences of Ukraine not joining the NPT would be the following:

- strengthening of a tendency toward the destruction of the international regime for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons,

- deterioration of relations between Ukraine and the West in political and economic terms,

- further complications in Ukraine’s relations with Russia, cessation of regular maintenance of nuclear warheads, located on Ukraine’s territory, which will considerably decrease their security,

- blocking of international cooperation with Ukraine in the realm of peaceful use of nuclear energy, which could lead to a complete halt [in the operation] of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants.

In MFA’s opinion, delays in deciding the issue of Ukraine’s participation in the NPT could eventually lead to a significant change in the situation surrounding Ukraine. The reason for this is that as of now the decision by the Parliament of Ukraine on joining the Treaty will be regarded by the world community as an independent demonstration of the goodwill of our people.

But in the not too distant future, in case the world community adopts decisive measures, similar to the ones that are being employed against Iraq and are being planned against the North Korea, pressure on Ukraine will begin to mount. A decision by Ukraine to join the Treaty, adopted under tensions and all-around pressure, will not have such positive effect in the world as it would today.

Based on the abovementioned, the MFA thinks that it would be advisable to consider the issue of Ukraine’s participation in the NPT in the Verkhovna Rada as part of one package with START-1 and the Lisbon Protocol.

Attachment: the abovementioned on 7 pages.