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`Nationalism and Nukes' in Ukraine

The author is disingenuous in suggesting that Ukraine is irresponsibly holding on to the former Soviet nuclear arsenal located on its territory. While Russia continues Moscow's long-standing practice of fostering armed conflict abroad, the author considers Ukraine a threat to European stability.

The US should encourage Russia to begin destruction of the former Soviet nuclear arsenal on its territory. In addition, Moscow should surrender technical control of former Soviet nuclear arms to Ukraine. A transfer could be made conditional on a comprehensive Western support program to help Ukraine destroy the weapons on its territory instead of surrendering them to Russia. If the West assures Ukraine's security, Ukraine might carry through on its nonnuclear vow.

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The US and European wait-and-see attitude toward the newly independent countries of the former USSR presupposes the reemergence of a dominant Russia and therefore only increases the Ukrainian government's resolve to demand more attention and concrete support.

A strong and provisionally nuclear-armed Ukraine is the answer to stability and further development in eastern Europe and beyond. Genuine support and respect for Ukraine will go a long way in taming Russia's imperialist attitude, making the world truly a safer place to live. Petro Matiaszk, New York Secretary, National Executive Board Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, Inc.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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