Ukraine urges Russia to restore full compliance with its obligations under the Budapest Memorandum by ending its aggression and de-occupying Ukraine’s sovereign territories.
“We urge the Russian side to restore its full compliance with the Budapest Memorandum by ending its aggression and de-occupying Ukraine’s sovereign territories, as well as compensating for the damage caused to Ukraine,” Deputy Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna Ihor Lossovskyi said during a meeting of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation on July 8, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.
According to the diplomat, the neglect of security guarantees provided to Ukraine “undermines and erodes the global efforts to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons and to ensure progress in global nuclear disarmament.” Russia’s fulfilment of its obligations under the Budapest Memorandum will remedy this situation and strengthen European security and non-proliferation regimes, Lossovskyi added.
“Over the years, Ukraine has established a strong reputation as a contributor to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. We gave up all highly enriched uranium stockpiles and voluntarily renounced the vast arsenal of nuclear weapons inherited from the former Soviet Union in exchange for the guarantees under the Budapest Memorandum on security, territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine’s borders. Instead, two decades later, Ukraine was deceived and its territorial integrity and sovereignty were grossly violated by one of the guarantor states,” Lossovskyi stressed.
In the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, the United States, Russia, and Britain committed “to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine” and “to refrain from the threat or use of force” against the country. Those assurances played a key role in persuading the Ukrainian government in Kyiv to give up what amounted to the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal, consisting of some 1,900 strategic nuclear warheads.
Unfortunately, Russia has broken virtually all the commitments it undertook in that document. It used military force to seize, and then illegally annex, Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in early 2014. Russian and Russian proxy forces have waged war for more than 6 years in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas, claiming more than 13,000 lives and driving some two million people from their homes.