An Analysis of the Potential Consequences of Denuclearization with Reference to Ukraine

An Analysis of the Potential Consequences of Denuclearization with Reference to Ukraine

Eray ALIM

Abstract

Nuclear weapons reduce the likelihood of war and conflict among nuclear-armed states. States that are
in an inferior position in the military balance gain “absolute deterrence”, if they possess nuclear weapons.
Nuclear weapons are, therefore, functional devices in calibrating deterrence asymmetry between weak
and strong states in favor of the former. In this article’s case study, Russia-Ukraine relations, should be
understood in this light. As witnessed during the 2014 Ukraine crisis, Russia violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity through military incursions into Crimea and Donbas. In the light of Russia’s military actions, discussions surrounding Ukraine’s elimination of its nuclear arsenal, which took
place during the 1990’s, have surfaced again. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine
inherited the world’s third largest nuclear weapons stockpile, which it removed from its soil during a process that was completed in 1996. This work seeks to trace this process and analyze the potential impacts
of Ukraine’s nuclear disarmament with reference to the 2014 crisis. By way of conclusion, it is argued in the context of the 2014 crisis that, denuclearization constitutes a potential national security risk for
states (Ukraine) that face formidable nuclear-armed rivals (Russia)

Keywords: Ukrayna, Rusya, Ukrayna Krizi, Nükleer Silahlar, Nükleer Caydırıcılık

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ISSN: 1307-9778 E-ISSN: 1309-5137

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