Yulia Yuzik, The Moscow Times
The Soviet Union is officially becoming the Russian Federation, meaning that its government is completely changing. Considering the fact that the USSR was a major global nuclear power, it raises an important question: What is to become of the USSR’s nuclear stockpile?
Within the IAEA committee, there is much tension over the future of this nuclear stockpile. “The progression from the Soviet Union to the Russian Federation has been ongoing, and something of great importance to the West,” said a delegate from Cameroon, a country that has allied itself with the West. This is because many of the USSR’s nuclear weapons were located in Soviet satellite states, which allows for the possibility that some of the Soviet satellite states could keep these nuclear weapons within their borders.
However, Russia has been managing to take all these nuclear weapons. “Russia has kept its nuclear stockpile safe amid this transition. It is also likely that Russia has taken the USSR’s nuclear weapons located in various Soviet satellite states back to Russia,” said the delegate of Cameroon. If this is true, then the new Russian Federation will immediately start off as a nation with a powerful nuclear stockpile, and secure its status as a global nuclear power.
The West is proceeding with caution in its treatment of Russia, attempting to form a good relationship with the Russian Federation from early on. It is possible that they are doing this for the purpose of being able to start denuclearization discussions early on, in an effort to get Russia on board. However, despite these possibilities, one thing is clear: the new Russian Federation could means a brand-new relationship between Russia and the West.