Volker calls on Ukraine to avoid pursuing development of nuclear weapons

The United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, Kurt Volker warned Ukraine against attempts to regain nuclear weapons.

In an interview with Direct, a new pro-Ukrainian TV channel, Volker said that Ukraine had made the right step when abandoned nuclear weapons.

"If Ukraine did not join the countries that abandoned nuclear weapons, it would not be a good decision. I do not think that nuclear weapons would be anything positive for Ukraine. I would not like to see Ukraine to revive this process again", he said.

After the collapse of the USSR, Ukraine possessed the third largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world after the U.S. and Russia. However, Ukraine voluntarily renounced it under the security guarantees enshrined in the Budapest Memorandum. The document was signed by Ukraine, the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom.

In addition, Volker said that Ukraine is not ready to join NATO yet, and the alliance is not ready to accept it at this time. "I have great respect for Ukraine, but I do not believe that Ukraine is either ready to join NATO now, or that NATO is ready to accept it in the situation which is it in now," he said.

Volker stressed that the decision whether to join NATO or not still depends on Ukraine. "The USA, the EU, and Russia – all need to understand that Ukraine is an independent country and in fact no one can say for sure when Ukraine will become a NATO member. It is absolutely Ukraine’s decision. Still, it does not mean that Ukraine is close to the point of receiving an invitation to NATO," he said.

The U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, also said that the U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, brought military equipment for the Armed Forces of Ukraine during his visit to Ukraine on August 23-24th. "The Secretary of Defense has brought defense equipment for the Ukrainian army," Volker said.

Volker recently stated that the conflict in the Donbas can be settled within a few months. At the same time, he expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the Minsk Agreements.

  Kurt Volker, nuclear weapons, Ukraine