SHENIN S.Yu., SHENIN A.S. The Nunn-Lugar Program and Nuclear Disarmament of Ukraine


Sergey Yu. Shenin

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor, Department of International Relations and Russian Foreign Policy

Saratov National Research State University named after N.G. Chernyshevsky

Astrakhanskaya St., 83, 410012 Saratov, Russian Federation

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Andrei S. Shenin

Candidate of Sciences (History), Director, Department of Public Administration

Narxoz University

1st Microdistrict, 81, 050035 Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan

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Abstract. Introduction. This article is devoted to studying the process of nuclear disarmament of Ukraine in the framework of the Nunn-Lugar Program in the first half of the 1990s. The reconstruction of this process makes it possible to determine specific features of the Ukrainian disarmament and demonstrate the absence of alternatives for it.

Methods and materials. The paper is based on the latest U.S. declassified documents, regulatory and legal acts, memoirs, etc. The author uses historical and systemic methods to research the stages of the evolution of the nuclear disarmament process in Ukraine and study politicians attitudes towards the Soviet nuclear legacy.

Analysis and results. The study investigates the reasons for joining the efforts of Moscow and Washington in turning Ukraine into a “nuclear-free state”, reveals the Russian and American attitudes towards the problem. Particular attention is paid to contradictions within the Ukrainian political elite that was split into the “pro-nuclear” and “antinuclear” groups. The article also studies the role of President L. Kravchuk in solving the disarmament problem, which was extremely contradictory. Finally, the article analyzes the reasons that allow to change the balance of political forces in Ukraine in favor of the “anti-nuclear” group, which enabled president Kravchuk to reaffirm his international obligations and initiate the nuclear disarmament process. In general, the article shows that the preservation of nuclear weapons by Ukraine was impossible due to a number of financial, technological, and geopolitical reasons.

Key words: nuclear disarmament, Ukraine, Russia, United States, Nunn-Lugar program, Budapest memorandum, START-1, Lisbon protocol.

Citation. Shenin S.Yu., Shenin A.S. The Nunn-Lugar Program and Nuclear Disarmament of Ukraine. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2020, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 103-114. (in Russian). DOI: 

Лицензия Creative Commons

The Nunn-Lugar Program and Nuclear Disarmament of Ukraine by Shenin S.Yu., Shenin A.S. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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