The dissolution of the Soviet Union has brought new nuclear
non-proliferation dangers and opportunities. Both revolve around the approximately
thirty thousand nuclear weapons and the fissile materials for perhaps ninety
thousand nuclear bombs in the former Soviet Union. The weapons are now deployed
in only four of the newly independents states - most in Russia, but some still
in Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. "Loose Nukes" is the colloquial description
of one aspect of the new threats.
positive and negative assurances from all five permanent members of the UN
Security Council are now vitally important, not only to provide support to
Ukraine and every other non-nuclear-weapons state's legitimate concerns, but to
advance the vital goals of nuclear non-proliferation prior to the critical 1995
NPT review and extension conference.