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COMMENTARY: YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW – The 2016 Global Nuclear Security Summit

30 Mar 2016 9:34 PM | Myroslaw Smorodsky (Administrator)


YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW – The 2016 Global Nuclear Security Summit

This week, Washington hosts the 2016 Global Nuclear Security Summit with the hope of stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons.  Russia – one of the largest nuclear powers – has decided to boycott this event. Not surprisingly, the United States has now accused Russia of “slowly but surely dismantling the security and arms control agreements that were put in place in Europe at the end of the cold war”

What a surprise.

Ironically, the Washington Nuclear Security Summit will be attended by Mr. Petro Poroshenko – The President of Ukraine.  If one would recall, Ukraine possessed the 3rd largest nuclear arsenal in the world. In 1994, it voluntarily surrendered its nuclear weaponry in return for guarantees of its territorial integrity, and economic and political security given by five major powers, the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China [the Budapest Memorandum].  Regrettably, recent history has now shown that such security “guarantees” are not worth the paper that they are written on. Assuredly, all the participants of the Washington Nuclear Security Summit are keenly aware of this fact and this stark realization will have a sobering effect on any diplomatic solutions that the attendees may propose.

Within the immediate past, Russia has acted in total defiance of its international commitments which were the keystone for peace and security on the European continent since World War II. Russia has now invaded Ukraine, illegally annexing its territory, is fomenting violence in Eastern Ukraine with its own armed forces including mercenaries, and is trying to economically and politically destabilize Ukraine. So what is the response from the other “guarantors” of Ukraine’s security under the Budapest Memorandum? -- tepid economic sanctions from the EU and the US allegedly aimed at cajoling Russia to be contrite and comply with its obligations under international law. Clearly, this myopic approach is the product of a naïveté not grounded in a clear understanding of the reality of Moscow’s worldview and political mindset.  From Europe, to the Middle East, to the Pacific Rim, Russia is now increasingly flexing its military muscle despite the anemic economic sanctions imposed by the US and the West.  More disconcerting is the reawakening in the United States of a flawed isolationist foreign policy that, if implemented, would in and of itself remake the geopolitical landscape of Europe beyond the wildest hopes, dreams, and expectations of Vladimir Putin.

To paraphrase a biblical saying – you reap what you sow [Galatians 6:7-9].  America’s and the West’s abysmal failure to fulfill their security commitments to Ukraine have sowed a revanchist Russia that, unless it is quickly challenged in a more meaningful and firm manner, it will be the unwelcome reaped harvest that will transform the entire geopolitical landscape of Europe and the world and, most certainly, will be a very direct and destructive threat to the security of the United States itself. 

For further information, please contact

Myroslaw Smorodsky, Esq.

Communications Director of the Ukrainian American Bar Association (UABA)

Tel: 201-507-4500201-507-4500 ; Email; myroslaw@smorodsky.com

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