By late 1993 [Ukrainian President Leonard] Kravchuk was determined to press forward towards an alliance with Poland directed against Russian predominance in Eastern Europe, perhaps one in which the Ukraine would provide a nuclear umbrella with the weapons it had inherited from the Soviet Union. Ukraine was, at the time, in possession of more nuclear weapons than any country except the United States and the Russian Federation.
In spring 1993 Ukraine proposed a "Baltic-to-Black Sea Pact" of which the Ukrainian-Polish partnership would be the nucleus. This idea, long favored by Ukrainian national activsist, was not just an attempt to balance Russian power. It was also meant to stabilize the middle ground between Russian dominance (seen as undesirable) and European integration (understood to be a matter of decades). It referred to the common Polish-Ukrainian experience within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which was after all a great power between Western Europe and Russia.
p 265 The Reconstruction of Nations- Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999