World Bulletin / News Desk
The president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbaev, indicated that tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine threatened the "possible end of cooperation between the world's leading nuclear powers."
Speaking at the Assembly of Kazakhstan's Peoples on Friday, president Nazarbaev said the non-proliferation act which limits the stock and production of nuclear weapons was under threat from recent developments.
Kazakhstan, which was once host to the Semipalatinsk nuclear test field before obtaining its non-nuclear state status following its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, has also found itself in an odd position amid rising tensions in Crimea.
It is feared that the March 16 referendum which saw the majority ethnic Russians in Crimea vote to split from Ukraine to join Russia could spark similar moves by ethnic Russians in other regions outside of Russia.
Just like a number of eastern European and central Asian countries, Kazakhstan has a significant ethnic Russian population in its north.
Kazakhstan and Ukraine both agreed to become non-nuclear states in return for the recognition of their independence by Russia and the West following the fall of the Soviet Union.
However, the recent annexation of Crimea by Russia has resulted in some calls for countries like Ukraine, that are not protected by NATO or EU pacts, to revive their nuclear program as a deterrent for Russian advances.Last Mod: 19 Nisan 2014, 18:19