Rough Seas Ahead: Issues for the 2015 NPT Review Conference

Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova

From April 28 to May 9, states-parties to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) will gather in New York for the third and final meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 NPT Review Conference.[1] Although it is unlikely that states will try to negotiate substantive recommendations for the review conference, the preparatory meeting is still an opportunity to take stock of developments and assess the condition of the regime as the treaty approaches the 45th anniversary of its entry into force.

More than a year away, the 2015 review conference is promising to be highly contentious, with the Middle East and nuclear disarmament at the center of tensions among the parties and progress on both issues viewed as a test of the treaty’s credibility. The rapidly evolving initiative centered on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons is reshaping the traditional NPT debate, challenging the incremental approach to disarmament. The events unfolding in Ukraine may yet have a serious impact, reaffirming the belief among some that nuclear weapons or protection of a nuclear alliance are necessary for national security and further diminishing the possibility of any progress on disarmament. On the other hand, the crisis might help re-energize the discourse on the risks of escalation and use of nuclear weapons.

The Action Plan

The 2010 review conference came after the utter failure of the 2005 meeting and 10 years of deepening disagreements, which necessitated the search for new solutions. The 2015 review conference, on the other hand, will follow what was widely hailed as a success and will have the 2010 action plan to serve as the basis for review. The 2010 conference’s final document contains 64 action items across the NPT’s three “pillars”—nuclear disarmament, nonproliferation, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy—and practical steps on implementing the 1995 Middle East resolution. Although the action plan was a product of an effort to achieve balance, so often emphasized by the NPT parties, it is clear that disarmament and the Middle East were priority issues, as those sections are phrased in more concrete, actionable terms.

Having such a basis does not mean that the review will be easy. For the most part, the action plan lacks clear targets and deadlines, leaving significant room for interpretation and disagreement over what constitutes sufficient progress and what actions states expect to be implemented by 2015. This is particularly true for nuclear disarmament, as nuclear- and non-nuclear-weapon states have divergent views on the acceptable pace of implementing those action items, and the gap has only been growing. Some diplomats and observers are already debating the desirability of repeating the 2010 experience and forgoing consensus adoption of the “backward-looking” review section of the final document.[2]

With regard to setting a forward-looking agenda, the 2015 conference might try to reaffirm the 2010 action plan and build on it, updating some action items and adding new ones. Nuclear-weapon states would prefer the reaffirmation of the plan, along with a strengthening of the nonproliferation part of it. The rate of implementation of disarmament actions, however, has been so disappointing that at least some of the non-nuclear-weapon states are bound to ask whether the action plan only creates the appearance of progress and whether a new approach is needed.

On a more modest scale, non-nuclear-weapon states may want to add deadlines to some of the action items. Factors that would likely influence positions in this regard include progress on and outcomes of the consultations among the five nuclear-weapon states on disarmament and other NPT-related issues, known as the “P5 process,”[3] as well as further development of the discourse on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.

Iran’s Nuclear Program

The crisis surrounding Iran’s nuclear program and suspicions that Tehran has been pursuing development of nuclear weapons have been high on the NPT states’ agenda for a decade. The outcome of current negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) on a long-term solution will therefore be significant for the 2015 review conference.

The Iran issue has contributed for years to the disagreements between developing and developed states over the former’s commitment to nonproliferation, the need for more-stringent verification measures, and infringement of the right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.[4] Reaching an agreement that places reasonable limitations on Iran’s nuclear program and provides for the lifting of sanctions would not eliminate those disagreements overnight. Yet, it would improve the atmosphere—an important factor for diplomatic conferences—and help alleviate the tensions that often rise when states discuss compliance issues in the NPT context. A comprehensive deal also would help strengthen the NPT regime overall, restoring confidence that proliferation crises can be resolved through diplomacy and reaffirming the verification authority of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Nevertheless, a deal with Iran is not likely to significantly change the conversation on recognizing the Model Additional Protocol as the verification standard under Article III of the NPT, an issue that the Western states promoted in 2010 and will likely bring up again.[5] Western countries argue that an additional protocol should become a requirement for all NPT non-nuclear-weapon states, supplementing the comprehensive safeguards agreement, while many Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) members and observers believe it should remain a voluntary, even if useful, measure. Although Iran might be less vocal on the subject, other NAM member states and observers, such as Egypt and Brazil, almost certainly would continue to object, especially if there is a lack of progress on their priority issues: the Middle East and disarmament.

If the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 are unsuccessful, the effect on the review conference is likely to be quite negative. Should the talks break down, one might expect Iran to resume enrichment of uranium to 20 percent uranium-235 and construction of the heavy-water research reactor at Arak, activities that Iran suspended pursuant to the Joint Program of Action concluded with the P5+1 in November 2013. The West would further increase sanctions, and Israel and the United States could be expected to revive the talk of military options. NPT parties would once again face a crisis. Because the current administrations in Iran and the United States are seen as having the best chance of reaching an agreement, their failure might lead to an even greater sense of hopelessness than the collapse of earlier talks.

Middle East WMD-Free Zone

The 1995 Middle East resolution, co-sponsored by the three NPT depositaries (Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), calls on states in the Middle East to take steps toward the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and calls on other NPT parties, particularly nuclear-weapon states, to “exert their utmost efforts” to ensure the establishment of the zone.[6] Adoption of the resolution was an essential condition to gain the Arab states’ support for extending the NPT indefinitely and remains the main benchmark by which Egypt, in particular, measures the success and credibility of the treaty.

The lack of any progress in implementing the 1995 resolution has caused great acrimony at NPT meetings and was one of the main reasons for the failure of the 2005 review conference. The 2010 final document therefore was a breakthrough, for the first time laying out concrete steps to be taken by the NPT depositaries and states in the region. That document mandated Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the UN secretary-general to convene in 2012 a conference to be attended by all states in the region on the establishment of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East. It also called for the appointment of a facilitator to undertake preparations for the 2012 conference and assist in the implementation of the follow-on steps to which the conference participants would agree.[7]

Reaching this compromise on the Middle East was crucial to the successful outcome in 2010, and failure to convene the regional conference, could be disastrous for the 2015 review conference. Because many NAM member states share the view that steps toward the establishment of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East are a priority, resentment would not be limited to the Arab states. The negative effect would be further amplified by a lack of progress on disarmament commitments.

Progress on the Middle East conference since 2010 has been excruciatingly slow. It took more than a year to appoint the facilitator, Jaakko Laajava, Finnish undersecretary of state for foreign and security policy, and designate Finland as host. Although Laajava and his team have conducted hundreds of consultations with relevant actors, there is not yet an agreement on the agenda and on the follow-on steps the conference should adopt. Israel has neither agreed to attend the conference nor has it definitively refused. It is seeking assurances that discussions at the Helsinki meeting will cover not only nonconventional weapons, but also regional security and confidence-building measures. In November 2012, the co-conveners separately announced the postponement of the regional conference without indicating a new date, drawing criticism from many NPT parties and leading to a walkout by the Egyptian delegation from the 2013 NPT preparatory meeting.

The Arab states and some of the other NPT parties have blamed the United States for the slow progress, accusing it of a lack of commitment to implementing the 1995 resolution and 2010 review conference decisions. Although it has reaffirmed its commitment to the goal of establishing the zone, the United States also has expressed doubts about the feasibility of holding the regional conference, citing the political turmoil in the Arab world, lack of regional dialogue, and concern that Israel would be unfairly singled out.[8] The United States also has emphasized that conference attendance cannot be imposed on any state. Russia bolstered the perception of U.S. backtracking from the NPT promises by publicly stating that the United States had unilaterally decided to postpone the Middle East conference when it had no right to do so.[9] If the conference is not convened within a year, the United States can expect to receive a large share of the blame in 2015, even if its influence on the outcome is less than it is widely perceived to be.

Convening the Middle East conference will take more than U.S. commitment, and both Israel and the Arab states will need to make concessions if they want to seize the opportunity and establish a meaningful process. There have been recent signs of progress in this regard, as representatives of Egypt, several other Arab states, and Israel have met in Glion, Switzerland, for three rounds of informal consultations organized by Laajava and the co-conveners in October 2013, November 2013, and February 2014. The parties reportedly made progress in discussing the agenda and arrangements for the Middle East conference and began addressing potential outcomes and next steps to be adopted.[10] Still, they have not reached an agreement, and the facilitator cannot yet set a new date for the conference. More consultations are expected to take place in Geneva after the NPT preparatory meeting. It is particularly important for Egypt, the main promoter of the WMD-free zone, to show flexibility and leadership at this time and not let the progress achieved in recent months slip away.

Iranian officials attended the first round of consultations in Glion, but found it difficult to return due to the negotiations with the P5+1 and the domestic criticism they faced for participating in a meeting that involves Israeli officials outside the UN premises. Iran announced its intention to attend the Middle East conference in the fall of 2012 and reportedly remains committed to this decision. It is necessary, however, for Laajava’s team and the Arab states to continue engaging Iran to secure its buy-in on the decisions regarding the agenda and outcomes of the meeting. If the Middle East conference convenes and establishes a process addressing WMD issues and regional security involving all relevant actors, including Iran, it would be an unprecedented development for the region and a boost for the credibility of the NPT.

Achieving a substantive and constructive outcome at the 2015 NPT Review Conference without a Middle East conference appears all but impossible, but a successful Middle East meeting may not necessarily mean a harmonious review conference. Other issues also are critical, perhaps most notably the changing discourse on nuclear disarmament. That discussion has been taking center stage during this review cycle, highlighting the differences between states calling for bolder and more urgent action on disarmament and those who argue for a more cautious approach.

Which Way to Zero?

NPT discussions of nuclear disarmament tend to follow a fairly standard script. Non-nuclear-weapon states bemoan the lack of progress and call on the nuclear-weapon states to accelerate implementation of Article VI and fulfill good on promises made at previous review conferences.[11] Nuclear-weapon states reaffirm their commitment to the goal of nuclear disarmament and then remind others about security concerns and proliferation challenges, highlight past achievements, and insist that only an incremental, step-by-step approach to nuclear disarmament makes sense. In a good review-conference year, some nuclear-weapon states also bring recent if not last-minute “gifts,” such as new arsenal reductions and transparency measures; and, after painful negotiations, the parties adopt a final document with more promises of future actions.

The usual script may not work in 2015. Over the past two years, along with the usual frustration with the state of nuclear disarmament, non-nuclear-weapon states have been bringing more energy and initiative on the subject to the NPT meetings and other forums, potentially changing the parameters of the debate for the next review conference. The two processes that developed since 2010—the nuclear-weapon-states’ consultations and the humanitarian initiative —are broadly reflective of the divergence of views on the best approach toward nuclear disarmament.

So far, nuclear-weapon states have little to show in terms of implementation of the 2010 disarmament action plan, and the situation is not likely to change significantly by 2015. The United States and Russia are reducing their deployed strategic nuclear weapons under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, but discussions on further steps are at a standstill.[12] The United Kingdom is the only nuclear-weapon state that has announced unilateral reductions since 2010.[13] The Conference on Disarmament remains famously paralyzed, so no negotiations on a fissile material cutoff treaty, much less negative security assurances or nuclear disarmament, are forthcoming there. U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2009 pledge to “immediately and aggressively” pursue ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) has not gotten off the ground and would face tough partisan opposition in the Senate if it did. Meanwhile, China will not ratify the CTBT until the United States does. Particularly significant from the perspective of the non-nuclear-weapon states is that the role of nuclear weapons in national and alliance doctrines remains largely unchanged and hundreds of U.S. and Russian weapons can be launched on warning. Furthermore, all five nuclear-weapon states are modernizing their arsenals, signaling continued reliance on nuclear weapons for many decades to come.

Within the P5 process, carried out in part pursuant to Action 5 of the 2010 action plan, the nuclear-weapon states are working on three core issues: transparency and reporting, verification, and nuclear terminology.[14] Scheduled to report on the progress of this engagement at the upcoming preparatory meeting, the five have been lowering expectations. Although Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States have briefed the group on their verification experiences and initiatives, there are no new joint disarmament verification projects coming out of the P5 process.

The five have reportedly agreed on a standard reporting form, covering such areas as nuclear doctrine, arms control and disarmament activities, and fissile material, and will issue reports on the basis of this form at the upcoming meeting. Yet, views on transparency still differ among the nuclear-weapon states, with China particularly wary of releasing information on its arsenal. Because each nuclear-weapon state will provide as much information as it is comfortable with sharing, reporting is not expected to be uniform.[15]

The working group on terminology, chaired by China, is developing a glossary of arms control, nonproliferation, and nuclear security terms on which the five states have agreed. As of late 2013, the group was reportedly considering 200 to 300 terms, but that number might decrease by 2015. Although it is indeed important to have common terminology for any future arms control and disarmament agreements, presenting a glossary as a significant achievement in 2015 will be a hard sell.

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The nuclear-weapon states, however, seem unperturbed by such modest results, an attitude that springs from the very long-term view they take of the action plan. Often referring to it as an NPT “road map,” the five countries seem to suggest that the action plan is the only acceptable path and that its full implementation is decades away. In this context, any attempt by non-nuclear-weapon states to start a different conversation to highlight the urgent need for more-ambitious measures is described as an attempt to undermine the NPT itself. Non-nuclear-weapon states could not realistically expect the action plan to be implemented by 2015, but they certainly did not adopt it with the intention of observing slow movement for another half a century. Non-nuclear-weapon states are indeed dissatisfied with the lack of concrete outcomes of the P5 process, and some wonder whether the newly forged “P5 solidarity,” which leads to lowest-common-denominator positions, is more detrimental than conducive to progress. Many non-nuclear-weapon states also do not appreciate being shut out of the discussion on the grounds that nuclear weapons are essential to the security of nuclear-weapon states and that how to proceed on disarmament is up to those states alone.

Non-nuclear-weapon states are beginning to reclaim their stake in the issue, most significantly through the focus on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. The 2010 NPT Review Conference expressed its “deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons.”[16] The conferences in Oslo in March 2013 and in Nayarit, Mexico, in February 2014 highlighted the devastating immediate impact and longer-term consequences of any nuclear weapons use, driving home the message that the risks and potential costs are shared by all states, nuclear armed or not. Conference presentations also have underscored the vulnerability of the poor, developing countries, and the lack of response capacity among international organizations. The humanitarian initiative is shifting the focus away from perceived national security needs of a few states to the nature and effects of the weapons themselves and posing the question of whether continued existence of these weapons can be acceptable for humanity at all.

The appeal of the message is evident in the growing number of states endorsing joint statements on humanitarian impact. What began with 16 countries at the 2012 NPT Preparatory Committee meeting grew to 125 states at the 2013 session of the UN General Assembly First Committee. At the same time, the initiative is exacerbating tensions within the NPT, exposing divergent views between nuclear and non-nuclear-weapons states and among states in and outside nuclear alliances. Nuclear-weapon states have responded harshly to the humanitarian initiative and the two conferences on the subject as a “distraction” from the NPT and the action plan. They have questioned the true motivations of those who lead the initiative, apparently disagreeing that the evolving discourse is meant to strengthen the treaty. Although they continue to advocate nuclear disarmament and express concern about humanitarian consequences, states in nuclear alliances now face uncomfortable questions about how their position in favor of disarmament is compatible with allowing the possibility of a “legitimate” use of nuclear weapons.

Juan Gómez Robledo, Mexican undersecretary for multilateral affairs and human rights and chair of the Nayarit conference, stated in his summary that “the path to achiev[ing] a world without nuclear weapons” is to outlaw them and identified the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings as the “appropriate milestone” for achieving this goal.[17] The summary, presenting the view of the chair rather than an agreed outcome, seems to have overstated the readiness of most states to launch negotiations on an instrument banning nuclear weapons. It has served, however, to further aggravate concerns among states that had suspected that the goal of the humanitarian initiative is to start a process parallel to and in competition with the NPT. The third humanitarian-impact conference, scheduled to take place in Austria later this year, is expected to identify next steps for the initiative, which would help clarify implications for the 2015 NPT Review Conference and beyond.

Broken Promises on Ukraine

Events in Ukraine are unfolding rapidly and drawing any conclusions at this stage would be premature. Nevertheless, the crisis is beginning to cast a shadow over a number of issues of significance for the 2015 review conference and the nonproliferation regime more broadly.

The Ukraine crisis might worsen threat perceptions of central and eastern European countries and reinforce their support for keeping NATO a nuclear alliance. That would further impede any progress on reducing the role of nuclear weapons in the alliance’s security concept.

Although the P5+1 reportedly remains united in its negotiations with Iran, solidarity among the nuclear-weapon states in their NPT-related consultations might be more seriously affected by the rapidly deteriorating relations between Russia and the West. This could compromise any progress in transparency and verification discussions.

It is difficult to see how the prospects for U.S.-Russian strategic arms control can get much worse than they currently are. Hopes for an announcement of a new round of bilateral arms reductions at the next NPT review conference already were dim, primarily due to Russian unwillingness to engage in negotiations on the subject. Russia’s annexation of Crimea can now strengthen the domestic opponents of arms control and disarmament in the United States, making it even more difficult for the Obama administration to pursue unilateral reductions if it were even to try. At the same time, it is useful to keep in mind that the United States and Soviet Union were able to maintain a dialogue on arms control during the Cold War. Thus, Russia and the United States might continue discussions on nuclear weapons issues, at least as a way to preserve a communication channel.

A more profound challenge to the international nonproliferation regime is Russia’s violation of the 1994 Budapest memorandum,[18] in which Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States pledged to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in return for Ukraine joining the NPT and giving up nuclear weapons inherited from the Soviet Union. Russian actions call into question the value and credibility of negative security assurances issued unilaterally by any of the nuclear-weapon states. So far, the nuclear-weapon states have been pointing to unilateral policies and legally binding nuclear-weapon-free-zone protocols as evidence of commitment not to use nuclear weapons under most circumstances against those who do not have them. There might now be a perception of more-urgent need for an international treaty on negative security assurances. Furthermore, some observers have already started to question the wisdom of Ukraine’s 1994 move, and the NPT parties would need to handle this discussion very carefully.[19]


Much can change in a year. Rather than being a prediction, this article has sought to review what today seem to be the main issues for the 2015 NPT Review Conference. Key states might yet go into a crisis-management mode and attempt to reverse some of the negative trends and improve the atmosphere ahead of the conference.

It would be very important to convene the Middle East conference before 2015, and prospects for this seem to have improved in recent months. Many countries look to the United States for continued commitment to holding the conference and help in bringing Israel to the table. The Arab states, however, should play their hand carefully and make sure insistence on long-standing principles does not derail a unique opportunity.

The nuclear-weapon states collectively appear unlikely to make significant progress in their consultations, which puts a greater burden on individual countries, especially the United States, to deliver some good news on disarmament. For example, the Obama administration might revisit the option of unilateral nuclear reductions. The United States and possibly the United Kingdom might attend the next humanitarian-impact conference in Austria and diffuse the tension. Such a move may not translate into concrete steps on nuclear doctrines and postures, but would serve to improve the atmosphere and distinguish the policies of these countries from the more uncompromising positions of France and Russia. The United States was reportedly considering attending the Nayarit conference, so consultations between Austria and the United States would be useful in this regard.[20]

Developments in Ukraine and Russia’s next steps there remain a wild card with potentially far-reaching effects. Some countries might be tempted to use the example of Ukraine to bolster and justify their own misgivings about nuclear disarmament. As NPT parties, however, they should keep in mind that such argumentation undermines nonproliferation efforts and the NPT itself.

Finally, the humanitarian initiative has clearly become a very important factor since 2010, and it is likely to continue to evolve in the year ahead. Championed by the non-nuclear-weapon states and civil society, the initiative is bringing renewed energy into the NPT debates. Although it highlights the divergence of views among states-parties in the short term, it might well be the most useful development for the long-term health of the treaty and the regime.

Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova is a senior research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She is a principal author of the periodic CNS report monitoring implementation of the action plan adopted at the 2010 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference.


1. Treaty parties have an option of convening a fourth preparatory meeting if necessary, but this is not likely to happen.

2. The creative solution in 2010 was for the president of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference to issue the review section under his own responsibility, while the forward-looking “Conclusions and Recommendations for Follow-on Actions,” containing the action plan, were adopted by consensus.

3. The five countries that the NPT recognizes as nuclear-weapon states coincidentally also are the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

4. Certainly, other factors have been significant, such as the 2004 U.S. proposal to limit uranium-enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing facilities only to countries where they already existed, the debate on the desirability of multilateral fuel-cycle arrangements, and the Nuclear Suppliers Group’s 2008 decision to grant India an exception from the group’s policy of exporting nuclear materials and technology only to those non-nuclear-weapon states that accept full-scope safeguards. See William C. Potter and Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova, “Nuclear Politics and the Non-Aligned Movement: Principles vs. Pragmatism,” Adelphi Series, Vol. 51, No. 427 (2011).

5. An additional protocol, a voluntary legally binding agreement between a state and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), allows the IAEA to use additional verification tools to provide assurances that all declared nuclear materials in the state are used for peaceful uses and that there are no undeclared nuclear materials and facilities.

6. 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, “Final Document, Part I: Organization and Work of the Conference,” NPT/Conf.1995/32 (Part I), 1995, annex.

7. 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, “Final Document, Volume I, Part I,” NPT/Conf.2010/50 (Vol. I), 2010 (hereinafter 2010 NPT Action Plan).

8. Office of the Press Secretary, The White House, “Statement by the National Security Advisor, General James L. Jones, on the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference,” May 28, 2010,; Peter Crail, Daniel Horner, and Daryl G. Kimball, “Pursuing the Prague Agenda: An Interview With White House Coordinator Gary Samore,” Arms Control Today, May 2011.

9. Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva, Statement by Mikhail Ulyanov at the second session of the 2015 NPT Review Conference Preparatory Committee, April 22, 2013,

10. Various officials, conversations with author, December 2013, February 2014, and March 2014.

11. Article VI of the NPT commits all states-parties to pursue good-faith negotiations “on measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament,” as well as a treaty on general and complete disarmament.

12. The disagreement between the United States and Russia has centered on U.S. plans for deploying ballistic missile defenses in Europe. Russia argues that missile defenses in Europe are aimed against Russia and undermine strategic stability. The United States has refused to provide legally binding assurances that European missile defenses will never target Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles. In addition, Russian officials have repeatedly stated that it was too early to negotiate further bilateral reductions and the focus should be on implementing the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

13. For more on the implementation of disarmament action items, see Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova, “Implementation of the Conclusions and Recommendations for Follow-on Actions Adopted by the 2010 NPT Review Conference,” James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, April 2013,

14. Andrea Berger and Malcolm Chalmers, “Great Expectations: The P5 Process and the Non-Proliferation Treaty,” Whitehall Report, No. 3-13 (August 2013), p. 14,

15. Various officials, conversations with author, March 2014.

16. 2010 NPT Action Plan.

17. Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, “Chair’s Summary,” February 14, 2014,

18. UN General Assembly and UN Security Council, A/49/765, S/1994/1399, December 19, 1994, annex 1 (“Memorandum on Security Assurances in Connection With Ukraine’s Accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons”).

19. See, for example, Elaine M. Grossman, “Should Ukraine Have Gotten Rid of Its Cold War Nukes?” Global Security Newswire, March 3, 2014,; “Ukraine and Nuclear Proliferation,” The Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2014.

20. Various officials, conversations with author, December 2013, February 2014, and March 2014.