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Hey Vladimir – what about the “Budapest Memorandum”?

Thursday/Friday blog

I haven’t seen this covered by the multitudes of mainstream media experts, pundits and others of their ilk. So I thought it worth mentioning the “Budapest Memorandum”.

It seems that everyone’s favourite crazed dictator – Vladimir Putin – is getting forgetful in his old age. For example, he appears to have forgotten that Russia signed the “Budapest Memorandum”.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, there were nuclear missiles in several former Soviet states. Three of these countries Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine agreed to give up their nuclear weapons and sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In return for them handing over their nuclear weapons, the three main signatories – the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States – agreed the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances in Budapest (Hungary) on 5 December 1994.

Until Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons, it had the world’s third-largest nuclear stockpile of which Ukraine  had physical but no operational control. Russia controlled the codes needed to operate the nuclear weapons through electronic “Permissive Action Links” and the Russian command and control system, although this could not be sufficient guarantee against Ukrainian access.

The Budapest Memorandum gave the following six security guarantees to the three countries handing over their nuclear weapons:

  1. Respect Belarusian, Kazakh and Ukrainian independence and sovereignty in the existing borders.
  2. Refrain from the threat or the use of force against Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
  3. Refrain from using economic pressure on Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine to influence their politics.
  4. Seek immediate Security Council action to provide assistance to Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine if they “should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used”.
  5. Refrain from the use of nuclear arms against Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
  6. Consult with one another if questions arise regarding those commitment

The first major breach of the Budapest Memorandum came in February 2014, when Russian forces seized or blockaded various airports and other strategic sites throughout the Crimea and then annexed the Crimean Peninsula. Then Russia moved troops into the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, effectively annexing these.

You might also have noticed that Russia’s current invasion of Ukraine rather breaches the second assurance given by the three main signatories: “Refrain from the threat or the use of force against Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine”.

Here are from left to right: Russian President Boris Yeltsin, U.S. President Bill Clinton, President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma, and British Prime Minister John Major, signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty in the Budapest Convention Center, Hungary on Dec. 5, 1994.

When asked about Russia breaking its Budapest Memorandum commitments to Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty, Putin’s multimillionaire (or multi-billionaire?) evil henchman, Foreign Minister Sergei “Jaws” Lavrov, claimed (completely falsely) that the only commitment Russia ever made was to not use nuclear weapons against Ukraine:

I’m not sure what the moral of this story is.

But if a Russian ever tries to sell you a used car in “excellent” condition and guarantees to fix any problems, you probably shouldn’t buy it.

And if a Russian comes offering you an “exciting” new peace treaty, after reducing most of your major cities to rubble and murdering thousands of innocent civilians, I probably wouldn’t buy that either.

6 comments to Hey Vladimir – what about the “Budapest Memorandum”?

  • A Thorpe

    Confirmation that we should never trust politicians at any level. Look at the broken election promises over the years, and recent failure to comply with lockdown rules.

    The Treaty of Versailles created a demilitarised zone in the Rhineland, confirmed by the Locarno Treaties. When Hitler moved his troops in, nothing was done. The Munich agreement was also pointless. When Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia nothing was done and he acquired their extensive military equipment. It is impossible to know the outcome had action been taken after these events. When we declared war on Germany Churchill knew that we did not have the means to win it. Hitler broke his agreement with Russia and attacked them. There are many points at which WWII could have gone in a different direction. Wars are unpredictable and everything should be done to prevent them. Now we have another agreement being broken and nobody willing to use force against Russia, just as nothing was done over Crimea. Applause in the Commons isn’t going to achieve anything.

    History certainly repeats itself and yet we still elect those who break their promises, giving them more and more power. Let us not forget Blair and Bush invading Iraq on the basis of incorrect intelligence and the consequences of their utter incompetence. Russia has taken advantage of conflicts in the middle east and recent events show how weak the USA has become. Imagine what Ukraine could do with the arms left behind by the USA.

  • twi5ted

    Events dear boy events.

    What is fascinating in a deeply disturbing way is the framing for this war. Russia is a corrupt but capitalist country with a recent communist past. The west have moved into a globalist post capitalist post democratic cabal which appears closer to communism at a local level.

    Nationalism vs globalism.

    Of course the largest most powerful nationalists on the planet are the Chinese who will be watching as essentially they are next for the globalists to attack.

    But what is really interesting is how many citizens want to give their lives or their children’s future for the globalists. It seems the likes of the EU and Nato or UN, these globalist institutions, are only popular when they are dishing out other peoples money but the irony is their policies result in no money only debt and economic ruin.

  • Jeffrey Palmer

    The Budapest memorandum was not an altruistic act by the Ukraine in the interests of world peace.

    Nuclear missile warhead components were past their operational life, and Ukraine’s political leadership realized that Ukraine could not become a credible nuclear military force as they had neither the technical ability nor the money to maintain the warheads and ensure long term nuclear safety.

    Later in 1993 the Ukrainian and Russian governments signed a series of bilateral agreements giving up Ukrainian claims to the nuclear weapons and the Black Sea Fleet, in return for $2.5 billion in gas and oil debt cancellation and future supplies of fuel for its nuclear power reactors. In other words they were paid off.

    When Yeltsin signed the Budapest Memorandum, it appears that he wasn’t sober enough to imagine, fifteen years down the line, a Ukraine government deciding it wanted to become a forward base for NATO’s troops, tanks, bombers, and missiles. Nor could he imagine NATO encouraging it in that desire. But it turns out, as we see from the ‘Pandora Papers’, that Ukraine’s politicians are easily bought.

    Trust is a two-way thing.

  • Jeffrey Palmer

    Sorry, I meant to say ‘twenty-five years down the line’!

  • Bad Brian

    Interesting and inconvenient thoughts from Jeffry above.

    Let’s hope he will be denounced from the pulpit this Sunday for the impudence of thinking out loud.

    Meanwhile , Ukranian grandmothers are thrwarting hundereds of advancing Soviet troops by leaving banana skins outside powers stations and military bases,,, bla,,,bla,,bla,,,

  • Marc Ager

    It remains to be seen for sure if the invasion of Ukraine is any more genuine than the pandemic and the climate emergency. Maybe it is really just an elaborate migrant-creating effort.

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