Central and Eastern European Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone
Since the late 1950s, various proposals for a Central and Eastern European Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (CEENWFZ) have been met with little success. At a 1990 UN General Assembly session, Belarus resurrected this concept with its proposal for a NWFZ covering the states of Europe between the Baltic and the Black Sea. However, plans for the eastward expansion of NATO killed any interest in the Belarus initiative, especially amongst former Warsaw Pact states. Belarus reiterated its proposal for a CEENWFZ at the 1995 NPT Review Conference, but again, states of the region dismissed it.
Russia and especially the Ukraine have welcomed the creation of an NWFZ in Central and Eastern Europe. In 1996, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Hennadiv Udovenko, publically expressed its support for the Belarusian initiative, stating that such a NWFZ would strengthen regional stability and “prevent the possible deployment of nuclear weapons on the territories of new NATO Member-States (Udovenko, 1996, as cited in Kelly, 1996)
The enlargement of NATO in 1999 as well as criticism from the West regarding the Belarus initiative—specifically from the United States, the United Kingdom, and France—has decreased the likelihood of an NWFZ agreement for this region in the near future.
Akhtamzyan, I. (2009). Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones in the Beginning of the XXI-st Century. In A. Nikitin (Author), Lessons to Be Learned from Non-Proliferation Failures and Successes (pp. 51-52). Amsterdam, Netherlands: IOS Press.
Kelly, M. (1996, February). History of the Proposal for a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in Europe. Nuclear Threat Initiative. Retrieved from http://www.nti.org/db/nisprofs/ukraine/nwfz.htm