Ukraine's attempt to acquire nuclear status will lead to sanctions - former Minister of Nuclear Safety
Despite the availability of technologies, Ukraine's attempt to regain nuclear status may lead to being subjected to international sanctions
This was stated by Yurii Kostenko, former Minister of Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety, a Ukrainian politician, on Espreso TV.
"Imagine that in the context of the war with Russia, the United States and all Western partners will apply international sanctions against us, just like against North Korea, Iran, Iraq and other countries that tried to produce nuclear weapons illegally. Those who talk about this are pure fools or people trained by the Russian FSB," Kostenko said.
The former Minister of Nuclear Safety pointed out that had the executive branch led by Ukraine's first President Kravchuk executed decisions endowed with the authority of Ukrainian law, nuclear warheads might have remained within Ukraine's borders today.
"We would gradually reprocess these nuclear warheads with the United States into fuel for Ukrainian NPPs. This proposal was presented to us by General Atomics, one of the most powerful US military structures. They developed the technology and determined how to process uranium into nuclear fuel for Ukrainian NPPs. This program, the disposal of Ukrainian nuclear warheads, took about a decade to complete," Kostenko said.
He argued that, in his view, the various narratives and myths propagated by the Kremlin regarding the supposed danger did not accurately reflect the actual situation and predominantly impacted the leadership of the Ukrainian state at that time.
"The statements of the Russian Federation that nuclear warheads in Ukraine are a danger and a "second Chornobyl" were just Kremlin myths, there was no danger. The nuclear warheads in Ukraine were in nuclear storage facilities and under international control. Experts from other foreign countries would have carried out international control if Russia had refused to do so. The nuclear warhead itself never explodes, as evidenced by the practice of using nuclear weapons," the Ukrainian politician said.
The true course of action Ukraine could have pursued by adhering to the decision of the Ukrainian parliament is one of phased nuclear disarmament and the optimal utilization of nuclear resources. This approach would involve fostering collaboration with the United States in the energy sector, thereby deterring any potential military threats from Russia and preventing it from even contemplating aggression toward Ukraine, Kostenko said.
"But now the restoration of the nuclear status is a provocative issue. Ukraine is a member of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear weapon state," Kostenko concluded.
On Friday, September 1, reports suggested that the Russian Sarmat strategic missile system had been placed on high alert. This system is capable of launching intercontinental missiles equipped with nuclear warheads.
On 7 September, former US Ambassador to NATO, Kurt Volker, said that if Russia uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the West's response will not necessarily be nuclear.
In addition, the Russian State Duma recently announced that the issue of withdrawing the ratification of the UN Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty will be discussed at its next meeting. The US State Department called Russia's steps a "threat to a global norm.”
At the same time, on October 17, State Duma deputy Andrei Gurulov of the United Russia party called on Russians to prepare for a nuclear war.
On the same day, Russia cancelled the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The authorities explained this as a measure of their country's security.