Twenty-four years ago, Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in exchange for the security assurances confirmed by the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the Russian Federation in the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances in connection with Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). In particular, these states have committed themselves to refrain from the threat of force or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine.
The Guarantor States reaffirmed their obligation that none of their weapon will ever be used against Ukraine.
These very assurances enabled the NPT to be ratified by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
On 25 November 2018, the Russian Federation carried out yet another act of armed aggression against Ukraine by military attack on the Ukrainian Navy's vessels in the Black Sea and the Kerch Strait.
This defiant and insidious attack testifies to Russia’s persistence in continuing the armed aggression against Ukraine, launched on 20 February 2014.
Ukraine remains consistent in considering the Budapest Memorandum as an important international instrument to ensure Ukraine's security, and demands from Russia to fully comply with the undertaken commitments.
The Russian aggression and violation of terms that made possible Ukraine’s surrender of nuclear weapons undermine the international non-proliferation regime. They will also determine the future relations with states that may opt for development of this type of weaponry.
On 27 November 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, pursuant to the paragraph 6 of the Memorandum, appealed to the signatory states of the Budapest Memorandum and demanded urgent consultations to ensure full adherence to the commitments and immediate halt of the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
The efficient steps are required to restore confidence in the Budapest Memorandum and the efforts by the international community to strengthen the international non-proliferation regime.