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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 23, February 1998

US-Ukraine Discord over Iran

The United States is seeking to dissuade Ukraine from selling turbines to Iran for use in the Bushehr nuclear reactor to be built by Russia (see above). On 9 February, State Department spokesperson James Foley made clear that the sale would have negative repercussions for US-Ukraine relations:

"We want to be able to increase our economic cooperation with Ukraine... And we have made clear our strong desire [that] Ukraine does not provide such assistance..."

More specifically, Foley added that

"an agreement on peaceful cooperation in nuclear energy" was possible between the US and Ukraine, but that "that sort of agreement would certainly be linked to this kind of question..."

On 14 February, Volodymyr Horbulin, the Secretary of Ukraine's Security and Defence Council, was reported as saying that Ukraine would make a final decision on the sale within a few weeks. Horbulin was speaking after discussions in Kiev with US envoy Steven Sestanovich.

Reports: US prods Ukraine on Iran deal, United Press International, 9 February; US says Iran dispute blocks Ukraine cooperation, Reuters, 9 February; Ukraine to decide on Iran nuke sale, Associated Press, 14 February.

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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