Zelensky: Ukraine may reconsider its nuclear status
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said at the Munich Security Conference that he would initiate consultations within the framework of the Budapest Memorandum.
If the summit of the countries participating in the Budapest Memorandum does not take place or does not provide Ukraine with security guarantees, the document will be recognized by Ukraine as invalid along with the points that were signed in 1994, the Ukrainian President said.
" The Minister of Foreign Affairs has been instructed to convene [consultations. If they do not take place again or their results do bring security guarantees for our country, Ukraine will have every right to believe that the Budapest Memorandum does not work, and all 1994 commitments will be called into question," the President of Ukraine said.
The Budapest Memorandum, signed on December 5, 1994, by Britain, Russia, the United States and Ukraine, provided guarantees of Ukraine's security and territorial integrity in exchange for Kyiv's surrendering of nuclear weapons. The document entered into force after Ukraine signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of nuclear weapons. Under this treaty, the signatory countries committed to respect the sovereignty of Ukraine, to refrain from the use of force against it.
After Russia annexed Ukrainian Crimea, the Ukrainian authorities proposed to repeal this document. In 2016, President Petro Poroshenko proposed to involve the signatories of the Budapest Memorandum in the negotiation process with Russia. In April 2019, Oleksandr Turchynov, who at that time held the post of secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, said that "nuclear disarmament was a historic mistake" of Ukraine. "The security guarantees given to us are not even worth the paper on which they were written," Turchynov said.