While a lot of the focus in post-regime change Ukraine has been on neo-Nazi parties, today’s eye-opening comments come from the moderate Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR), as one of their members of parliament is calling for the nation to launch a new nuclear weapons program.
MP Pavlo Rizanenko dubbed Ukraine’s post-Soviet disarmament a “big mistake,” saying the nation thought it was getting a pledge for unconditional military aid from the United States and Britain as part of the deal.
The Budapest Memorandum had all the signatories promising to respect Ukraine’s political independence, but did not oblige any of the signatories to attack anyone else.
At its founding, Ukraine had 1,900 nuclear warheads. The last of those arms were exported in June 1996, and Ukraine is now a non-nuclear weapons signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Ukraine’s interim government is arguing that Russia’s deployment of troops to the Crimea to secure a referendum on secession violates the memorandum, though Russia has a pact with Ukraine to keep up to 25,000 troops in the Crimea.