First Ukrainian President: The US pressured Ukraine to get rid of nuclear weapons

Ukraine did not rush to abandon nuclear weapons because it's not easy to do, but the Americans put pressure on the government to do so, according to the online-magazine Slon, citing the first President of Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk.

According to Kravchuk, at the time the Ukrainian government wanted the Americans to pay for the renunciation of nuclear weapons.

“We demanded compensation from the United States and generally from the West. They were constantly, frankly speaking, pressing us and threatening us with economic sanctions if we did not agree to withdraw nuclear weapons. I personally responded to Gore and Clinton that Ukraine itself cannot withdraw nuclear weapons because nuclear warheads are not the most difficult to handle, the most difficult are the rockets with the liquefied fuel. In total, there were 165 of them; the liquid content of these rockets, would damage the land in such a way that the land will not bear fruit for decades,” Kravchuk said.

He noted that Ukraine has received a substantial sum of money for removing warheads which were sent to Russia. “We have received $700 million in order to remove the warheads. It was decided to send them to Russia. Because no country, even if they wanted to, could handle them.”

  Ukraine, USA, nuclear arsenal