Friday, September 5, 2014

Could Ukraine have been a Center for a Nuclear-Free Europe?

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  • John Brown FYI, I was involved, in a minor way as a Public Diplomacy officer at U.S Embassy Kyiv/Kiev (93-95), in helping convince -- per U.S. policy at the time -- Ukrainian interlocutors that keeping nuclear weapons on Ukrainian territory was not in their country's best interests. I have no regrets about having contributed to such efforts at well-intentioned persuasion. Indeed, at that time I could not help thinking privately that if the Ukrainian government had played its cards right, it could have turned Kyiv/Kiev into a European center for nuclear non-proliferation, probably the best "soft-power" way to win respect on our small planet (especially in Europe) -- but this was beyond the imagination of so many of the Soviet-minded apparatchiki pretending to govern a country while shamelessly enriching themselves by posing as "Ukrainian" homeland-lovers (I won't use the verboten word nationalists).

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