Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council (NSDC) Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov marked the anniversary of signing of the Budapest Memorandum in 1994. "21 years ago, on December 5, 1994 the Budapest Memorandum was signed.
Ukraine was then a young independent state that was pursuaded to give up its nuclear arsenal in exchange for security guarantees from Russia, the United States, the UK, France and China.
Turchynov said Ukraine's political leadership then believed in efficacy of international safeguards and guarantees, which ultimately proved to be worthless.
"We were stripped not only of nuclear weapons, but of all carriers which would carry not only nuclear warheads. Our missile pits were blown up, rocket fuel disposed of, control centres destroyed. Ukraine lost its strategic bombers and cruise missiles, which are being used by the Russian military in Syria," Turchynov said.
Turchynov said leaders of the US, UK and France were unable or unwilling to prevent Russia from invading east Ukraine in early 2014, despite guarantees in the memorandum.
"They politely told us that the Budapest Memorandum is just a formal document, it does not envisage any real tools for fulfilling guarantees. Well, Ukraine was really disarmed, but the guarantees were conditional," said Turchynov.
The NSDC secretary said that the Budapest Memorandum failure "proves the futility of disarmament, illustrates a complete destruction of the collective security system, and turns the new century paradigm into the medieval 'rule of force' format, creating a potential threat to the world."
Source: Ukraine Today