Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

What’s the Good News About Ukraine? No Nukes

Mar. 06, 2014

As the Crimea crisis continues, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists asked a number of experts about what an appropriate short-term U.S. response to the crisis would entail, as well as how the crisis will affect U.S. policy towards Russia. Belfer Center Director Graham Allison was among those that participated.

"What’s the good news about Ukraine?  No nukes. 

Decommissioned launching silo for an SS-24 thermonuclear missile at the Strategic Missile Forces Museum in Ukraine. (Wikipedia)

Unlike 2010, when 15 nuclear weapons-worth of highly enriched uranium remained at risk in Ukraine, today Ukraine is nuclear weapons material-free.Unlike 1993, when 2,000 strategic nuclear weapons sat atop intercontinental ballistic missiles aimed at targets in America, today Ukraine has zero nuclear weapons. 

The strategies and actions that produced a nuclear-free Ukraine—including the Nunn Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program that provided wherewithal for the former, and the Nuclear Security Summits that provided an action-forcing process for the latter—offer clues for the Obama administration to consider as it marches to the third Nuclear Security Summit in the Hague on March 24."

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For Academic Citation: What’s the Good News About Ukraine? No Nukes.” Nuclear Security Matters, March 6, 2014,