Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Memorandum of Understanding Ukraine signed to give up its nuclear arsenal

Memorandum of Understanding Ukraine signed to give up its nuclear arsenal 5
Memorandum of Understanding Ukraine signed to give up its nuclear arsenal 5

`Ukraine is the only country in human history that gave up the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal in exchange for security guarantees from the US, Russia and Britain. Where are these guarantees?`, Alexey Goncharenko

Once the second most powerful republic of the Soviet Union, Ukraine declared independence in December 1991.

According to the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), Ukraine has approximately 3,000 strategic nuclear weapons used to attack large military installations, naval fleets and armored forces, and about 2,000 nuclear weapons.

Ukraine may have physical control of these arsenals, but not their operations.

Belarus, which has only mobile missile launchers, and Kazakhstan quickly chose to hand over their nuclear warheads and missiles to Russia.

US President Bill Clinton, Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk (from left to right) at the Trilateral Declaration ceremony in Moscow, Russia in January 1994.

In May 1992, Russia, the United States, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine signed the Lisbon Protocol to the START I treaty. The Protocol committed Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine to compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

However, the terms for the transfer of nuclear warheads were not agreed upon and some Ukrainian officials and parliamentarians began to discuss the possibility of retaining some modern RT-23 (SS-24) missiles due to

In 1993, two UR-100N (SS-19) missile regiments in Ukraine were withdrawn from storage because their warhead components had exceeded their operational lifespan.

Subsequently, the Ukrainian and Russian governments signed a series of bilateral agreements renouncing Ukraine’s demands for nuclear weapons and the Black Sea fleet, in exchange for the forgiveness of $2.5 billion in gas and oil debt,

This decision faced heavy public criticism and Ukrainian defense minister Kostyantyn Morozov resigned.

On November 18, 1993, the Ukrainian parliament passed a motion agreeing to START I but abandoning the Lisbon Protocol, stating that Ukraine had only decommissioned 36% of missile launchers and 42% of nuclear warheads on its territory.

The next day, Ukrainian president Leonid Kravchuk said `we must get rid of these nuclear weapons. This is my point of view and I will not deviate`.

On December 15, 1993, US Vice President Al Gore came to Moscow to attend a meeting.

The participating parties were invited to Washington in early January 1994 to finalize the agreement.

However, Ukraine did not want its commitment to transfer all warheads before June 1, 1996 to be made public for domestic political reasons.

US President Bill Clinton visited Kiev while on his way to Moscow to sign the Trilateral Declaration and discovered that Ukraine had other considerations about the signing.

Afterwards, the US provided more than 300 million USD and supported the nuclear disarmament process in Ukraine.

On December 5, 1994, at a conference in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, countries including the US, Russia, Ukraine, and the UK signed a memorandum of understanding to ensure security related to Kiev joining the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The three countries’ most important commitment was to `reaffirm their obligation to refrain from any threat or move to use force against the territorial integrity and political independence of Ukraine`.

Since signing the Budapest Memorandum, Ukraine has met its obligations by transferring the world’s third-largest arsenal.

In 2009, Russia and the United States issued a joint statement that the memorandum’s security guarantees would still be respected after the START Treaty expired.

Memorandum of Understanding Ukraine signed to give up its nuclear arsenal

Devastated scene after an attack in Kharkov, Ukraine on March 1.

However, Russian President Vladimir Putin first abolished the Budapest Memorandum in 2014, when he annexed the Crimean peninsula, according to the article How Ukraine was betrayed in Budapest on WSJ.

In 1993, John J Mearsheimer, a famous international relations theorist at the University of Chicago, said that a nuclear arsenal was essential if Ukraine wanted to `maintain peace`.

Six days after launching a special military operation in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow must act to prevent Kiev’s dangerous ambitions.

`The Kiev government pursues a dangerous game related to its plan to possess nuclear weapons,` Mr. Lavrov said in a video broadcast at the Disarmament Conference held in Switzerland yesterday, emphasizing that Ukraine still holds power.

Previously, at a security conference in Germany on February 19, President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Kiev could end its commitment not to possess nuclear weapons under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.

`We gave up our nuclear capabilities without getting anything in return,` said former Ukrainian defense minister Anriy Zahorodniuk, expressing regret about the decision nearly 30 years ago.

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *