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Tuesday, April 4, 2023

April 04, 2023

A petition calling for Ukraine to possess nuclear weapons has once again appeared on the website of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Although it appeared on Zelensky’s website, it is still not known who is behind the petition and whether it even has widespread support among ordinary Ukrainian people – the first indications are that it does not.

The text of the petition states that “Ukraine does not necessarily have nuclear weapons, but since the signatories (of the earlier agreement on the non-nuclear status of Ukraine) directly violate the agreements, Ukraine has the right to regain nuclear status and obtain the status of a nuclear state.”

“Deploy US nuclear weapons on Ukrainian territory or turn Ukraine into a state with its own nuclear weapons,” the initiative's author proposes.

The initiative was published on March 27 and has three months to collect 25,000 signatures to receive official review from Zelensky's office. After several days it has only garnered over 1,000 signatories, an incredibly low number for a country of about 40 million people.

The petition, which any Ukrainian citizen can make online, is another attempt by Kiev to put psychological pressure on Russia. It is likely that the petition was not made by an ordinary citizen, but rather by the Kiev regime itself.

Zelensky has continually begged the West for an endless supply of weapons. The Ukrainian president himself declared that he wanted nuclear weapons, which is why the petition is likely from someone within his circles. The task of this petition is to show how the Ukrainian people allegedly want nuclear weapons to be deployed in Ukraine, something which has so far failed.

At the same time though, Washington fears nuclear proliferation. The US is afraid to entrust such weapons to the Kiev regime, which behaves irresponsibly even though it is under the control of Washington and Brussels. If Kiev gets its hands on nuclear weapons, it is not excluded that it will try to provoke a nuclear conflict, and for all of Washington’s aggression and provocation, it is afraid of such a scenario. However, Zelensky and his advisors like to play dangerous games.

The deployment of nuclear weapons in Ukraine poses a great risk to Washington. Nuclear weapons are not the same as light strategic weapons, which is why the Americans are only thinking about supplying Kiev with Himars missiles and the Patriot air defence system. If Zelensky attains nuclear weapons, it could lead to World War 3, which is why the West will not agree to such a scenario.

It is recalled that in 1994, Ukraine signed the Budapest Memorandum, renouncing the stockpile of nuclear weapons it inherited from the Soviet Union in exchange for other countries ensuring its security. With the Budapest Memorandum on Security Guarantees, Ukraine joined the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The agreement was signed on December 5, 1994 by representatives of the USA, Russia, Britain, and Ukraine. However, in February 2022, Zelensky announced that he would start negotiations to review the memorandum.

Zelensky will explore this avenue and will try to use the petition as a legitimising factor, but it does raise the question on why he ignores calls for him to resign or cease hostilities. In fact, when such petitions are put on the president’s website, they often disappear.

For her part, Izumi Nakamitsu, UN high representative for disarmament affairs, said on March 31: “The risk of a nuclear weapon being used is currently higher than at any time since the depths of the Cold War. The war in Ukraine represents the most acute example of that risk.”

Nakamitsu added that the lack of dialogue and the erosion of the disarmament and arms control agreements combined with dangerous rhetoric and veiled threats could potentially lead to nuclear escalation, but she does not directly call out Ukraine for its petition and pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said a day after the petition was published that his country could host intercontinental nuclear missiles. Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia clarified that Moscow would not transfer nuclear weapons to Belarus but “operational tactical missile complexes” which will be under Russian control and not in violation of any international obligations.

Nebenzia also highlighted that Washington destroyed key arms control agreements and denounced American tactical nuclear weapons deployed in other NATO countries, which is a violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

In short, Ukraine is unlikely to be permitted to attain nuclear weapons, and Russia will not strike first with its arsenal. None-the-less, it will not stop the Kiev regime from using cheap tricks to try and acquire them.