Kyiv, 28 February 2022 (TDI): Ever since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine commenced, Budapest Memorandum is being cited in the context that if Ukraine hadn’t returned the nukes back to Russia, the former could effectively deter the latter.

In the wake of the disintegration of the Soviet Union, then-nascent Ukraine was left with the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal. Consequently, Ukraine, the United States, and Russia came to an agreement in 1994.

According to the agreement, Ukraine would turn over nuclear weapons back to Russia, in exchange for security assurances. That agreement is known as the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances.

The short memorandum is comprised of five main points that the signatories committed to reaffirming. The signatories were the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK).

The tenets of the Budapest Memorandum are:

  1. The US, Russia, and the UK commit to Ukraine, as per the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to respect the independence and sovereignty as well as the existing borders of Ukraine.
  2. The US, Russia, and the UK reaffirm their commitment to refrain from the threat
    or use of force against the political independence or territorial integrity of Ukraine.
  3. Likewise, none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
  4. The US, Russia, and the UK, as per the tenets of the CSCE Final Act, will forego economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind.
  5. The US, Russia, and the UK will seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a nonnuclear-weapon state, party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), 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.
  6. The US, Russia, and the UK will reaffirm their commitment not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon State Party, to the NPT in the case of Ukraine.
  7. 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.
  8. The US, Russia, and the UK to consult in the event a situation arises which raises a question concerning these commitments.