Ukraine is betrayed by the US and UK

Ukraine was betrayed by the US and UK. Under the Budapest Memorandum, the US and UK promised to ensure Ukraine’s security, but, the world has seen that both the US and UK have not fulfilled their promise. On December 5, 1994, the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Britain, and the United States signed a memorandum to provide Ukraine with security assurances in connection with its accession to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state. The four parties signed the memorandum, containing a preamble and six paragraphs. The memorandum reads as follows:-

  • The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,
  • Welcoming the accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear-weapon State,
  • Taking into account the commitment of Ukraine to eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within a specified period of time,
  • Noting the changes in the worldwide security situation, including the end of the Cold War, which has brought about conditions for deep reductions in nuclear forces.

Confirm the following:

The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, under the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.

The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defense or otherwise per the Charter of the United Nations.

The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, under the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind.

The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to assist Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used.

The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America reaffirm, in the case of Ukraine, their commitment not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, except in the case of an attack on themselves, their territories or dependent territories, their armed forces, or their allies, by such a State in association or alliance with a nuclear-weapon State.

Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America will consult in the event a situation arises that raises a question concerning these commitments.

It is worth mentioning that Ukraine was the second most powerful republic in the former Soviet Union (USSR), with one-third of the Soviet nuclear arsenal, the third-largest in the world at the time, as well as significant means of its design and production. 130 UR-100N intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) with six warheads each, 46 RT-23 Molodets ICBMs with ten warheads apiece, as well as 33 heavy bombers, totaling approximately 1,700 warheads remained on Ukrainian territory. Formally, these weapons were controlled by the Commonwealth of Independent States. In 1994 Ukraine agreed to destroy the weapons, and to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), in return for financial assistance and security guarantees provided by the US and UK.

Although China and France also supported the denuclearization but have not offered any security provision, but with some significant differences. For instance, France’s pledge does not contain the promises laid out in paragraphs 4 and 6 above, to refer any aggression to the UN Security Council, nor to consult in the event of a question regarding the commitments.

China’s pledge takes a different form entirely, dating from December 4, and reading as follows:

The Chinese government welcomes the decision of Ukraine to destroy all nuclear weapons on its territory and commends the approval by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on November 16 of Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear-weapon State. China fully understands the desire of Ukraine for security assurance. The Chinese Government has always maintained that under no circumstances will China use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States or nuclear-weapon-free zones. This principled position also applies to Ukraine. The Chinese Government urges all other nuclear-weapon States to undertake the same commitment, to enhance the security of all non-nuclear-weapon States, including Ukraine.

The Chinese Government has constantly opposed the practice of exerting political, economic, or other pressure in international relations. It maintains that disputes and differences should be settled peacefully through consultations on an equal footing. Abiding by the spirit of the Sino-Ukrainian joint communiqué of January 4, 1992, on the establishment of diplomatic relations, the Sino-Ukrainian joint communiqué of October 31, 1992, and the Sino-Ukrainian joint statement of September 6, 1994, China recognizes and respects the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and stands ready to further develop friendly and cooperative Sino-Ukraine relations based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

Although in 1993, International relations theorist and University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer published an article including his prediction that a Ukraine without any nuclear deterrent was likely to be subjected to aggression by Russia, this was very much a minority view at the time and overlooked by the world.

In view, of the Budapest Memorandum, the US and UK, should have protected Ukraine and ensured its geographical integrity and sovereignty. Unfortunately, they are backed from their promises and failed to meet their obligations. It is a message for other nations that if they depend on them, should be careful and should not trust them. Former President Trump used to say America first, which means, they can do all unethical practices in American interests. His Secretary of state Pompeo confessed that Americans lie, cheat, deceive, and steal, and so on….

Is it a lesson for the rest of the world, the message is conveyed obviously?

Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.