By allowing the Maidan (Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity), the Budapest Memorandum was violated by Ukraine, not Russia, which “never used” nuclear weapons against the Ukrainian state, stated Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a press conference in Moscow on Monday, January 15.
“We have answered these questions many times, including those connected to the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, according to which Ukraine renounced nuclear weapons and Russia pledged not to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine. I remind you that we never used or threatened Ukraine with nuclear weapons, so there was no violation of the Budapest Memorandum,” said Lavrov.
Lavrov stated that Ukraine, in parallel with the Budapest Memorandum, said in a separate statement that it would not “encourage racist, neo-Nazi, xenophobic tendencies, and what happened after Maidan was a gross violation of these obligations by our Ukrainian neighbors.”
At the same time, the Russian Foreign Minister gave assurance that Russia “is interested in the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, which fit in respect to the territorial integrity of Ukraine within the current borders that were redrawn after the referendum in Crimea.”
After the collapse of the USSR, Ukraine remained an arsenal for nuclear weapons. In 1994, the country agreed to destroy its nuclear weapons, joining the Budapest Agreement. At the time, Kyiv was provided with security guarantees from Russia, the United States and Great Britain. Ukraine accused Russia of violating the Budapest Memorandum after the annexation of the Crimea. The guarantor countries also expressed their concern.
Previously, Lavrov said that Russia continues to respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine after the annexation of the Crimea.