One of the prime concerns of global security in the post-Cold War era is of nuclear weapons proliferation by non-nuclear states, especially considered rogue states. This involves on the one hand, the potential that legal international movement of nuclear technologies, materials, and expertise such as weapons-usable plutonium, may be used by non-nuclear states to produce nuclear weapons, and on the other hand, the illegal movement of nuclear weapons materials, technologies, and related personnel to non-nuclear states, specifically from the territory of the former Soviet Union (primarily Russia) to states that may be considered by the international community as rogue. Recipient states may have a hidden agenda to develop the capacity to obtain and/or produce, directly and/or indirectly, nuclear weapons in order to enhance the pursuit of their interest, though at the likely detriment of regional and global stability. Apart from focusing on nuclear weapons states to reduce their nuclear weapons stockpiles and/or programmes, it is of vital interest to global security and peace that the proliferation of nuclear weapons by non-nuclear weapons states by any means be monitored, discouraged, and checked.
Seizures of illicit plutonium in Europe have raised global concerns about the unlawful trade in nuclear materials, and fears about the security of nuclear stockpiles have now become focused on the former Soviet Union. The smuggling of primarily Russian plutonium represents an acute threat to nuclear non-proliferation and global stability.