by Andrew Vogel
Everyone knows that after disintegration of the USSR Ukraine became one of the owners of the most high-capacity nuclear arsenal. It inherited 222 strategic missiles (46 intercontinental ballistic missiles RS-22 of the latest generation), about 1700 nuclear warheads for them and several hundreds of tactical nuclearwarheads. In addition, 44 strategic bombers were based on Ukraine’s territory.
The issue of further use of Ukrainian nuclear arsenal was one of the most important on the way of development of independent state.
Having chosen the peaceful way and supported by key players on the international arena Ukrainian authorities proclaimed the aim of nuclear disarmament and deprivation of nuclear state status.
Such actions certainly had world significance and became an unprecedented contribution to the world peace and security.
In their turn, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the USA signed so called Budapest Memorandum with Ukraine on theDecember 5, 1994. According to the document the states should respect the independence, sovereignty and existing borders of Ukraine, forbearing to show any aggression towards Ukraine including economic pressure.
Following the open policy, allegiance to the declared obligations, demonstrating respect to international laws and obligations towards partner-states, Ukraine officially lost the status of nuclear state on the June 2, 1996.
Since then, Ukrainian authorities have uncompromisingly fulfilled international obligations, principles of nuclear-free state development paying no attention on economic difficulties and home policy process. But in its turn Russia constantly violated the conditions of Budapest Memorandum, for instance, in 2003 (Tuzla Island) and today, when Russian military forces intruded into the East of Ukrainian territory and invaded Crimea. Russia has provoked military conflict and supports separatists. However, Ukraine goes forward on its way to economic and political integration into European Community.
The second event of world importance in providing of nuclear security was the decommissioning of Chernobyl nuclear power plant in December, 2000. This important step demonstrated the free will of state and nation and confirmed Ukraine’s intentions mentioned in the Memorandum of Mutual Understanding between Ukrainian authorities, G7 and EU Commission on December 25, 1995.
On December 14, 2000 UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution, in which the decommissioning of Chernobyl nuclear power plant was appreciated as significant contribution to elimination of consequences of the most terrible anthropogenic catastrophe in the history of humanity.
In 2010, before the Washington Summit on nuclear security, Ukraine made decision to refuse from the use and storage of highly enriched uranium on its territory. Another contribution to development of the initiative of global nuclear threat reduction was fundamental decision of Ukraine to remove fresh and usedhighly enriched nuclear fuel from its territory.
Ukraine became an example of farsightedness in global security maintenance. All these could become the reason to give this state the Nobel Peace Prize in order to consolidate humanity to refuse from nuclear potential. In particular, principle of global nuclear weapon elimination and reduction of defense expenses was unanimously supported and put in 13th Declaration accepted by Nobel Prize winners at the Warsaw Summit in 2013.
Today, when there are countries, which long to own the nuclear weapon, encouragement of Ukraine with the Nobel Peace Prize is extremely important for realization of ideas of the World being completely free from the nuclear weapon.
Ukraine deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for contribution to nuclear security and safe use of nuclear energy. And now owing to such actions we must reject the thesis “Look for peace – prepare for nuclear war” and hope that the World will have future and prospect choosing nuclear-free way of development. Nuclear arms race is a deadlock from which the humanity will have no way out except self-destruction.