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The Nuclear Weapon—- The Deterrence or tool of Survival?

By Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan

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At the time of Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine held the third-largest nuclear arsenal in the world, including an estimated 1,900 strategic warheads, 176 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and 44 strategic bombers. By 1996, Ukraine had returned all of its nuclear warheads to Russia in exchange for economic aid and security assurances, and in December 1994, Ukraine became a non-nuclear weapon state party to the 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). The last strategic nuclear delivery vehicle in Ukraine was eliminated in 2001 under the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). It took years of political maneuvering and diplomatic work, starting with the Lisbon Protocol in 1992, to remove the weapons and nuclear infrastructure from Ukraine.

On December 5, 1994, the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Britain, and the United States signed a memorandum to provide Ukraine with security assurances in connection with its accession to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state. The four parties signed the memorandum, containing a preamble and six paragraphs. The memorandum reads as follows:-

The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,

Welcoming the accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear-weapon State,

Taking into account the commitment of Ukraine to eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within a specified time,

Noting the changes in the worldwide security situation, including the end of the Cold War, which has brought about conditions for deep reductions in nuclear forces.

1.The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, under the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.

  1. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defense or otherwise per the Charter of the United Nations.
  1. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, under the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind.
  1. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to assist Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used.
  1. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America reaffirm, in the case of Ukraine, their commitment not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, except in the case of an attack on themselves, their territories or dependent territories, their armed forces, or their allies, by such a State in association or alliance with a nuclear-weapon State.
  1. Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America will consult in the event a situation arises that raises a question concerning these commitments.

Under the Budapest Memorandum, the US and UK promised to ensure Ukraine’s security, but, the world has seen that not only both the US and UK, but any other country have come to save Ukraine. Contrarily, till the last moment, the West was instigating and making false promises that they will protect Ukraine against any Russian threats.

It reminds us that the US was asking Pakistan in the 1980s, not to go for nuclear program and sign NPT, in return for aid and defense guarantees. The same approach was exercised in 1998 when Pakistan was going to test its nuclear device after the successful test of Indian nukes. President Clinton asked the Prime Minister of Pakistan for heavy financial assistance and full protection from India if Pakistan does not test its devices.

However, Pakistani leadership stood fast with their visionary views and kept their decision independent from the West’s coercion. Although few Pakistanis were convicted with Western propaganda and agreed for accepting aid against NPT. However, After the Ukraine crisis, all Pakistanis believe our leadership of that time was right and the decision was perfect.

It is a clear message that no other country will protect you, in case of crisis, all nations must consider their defense at their best. Depending on others will not have work and the international community witnessed it in the case of Ukraine. It is time for Taiwan to think wisely if they still believe that the US will protect them. The natural course is peaceful reunification with the mainland and the sooner the better. The UN has failed to save the sovereignty of Ukraine, unfortunately.

Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.

Disclaimer:

The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk News Agency.

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