Friday, April 25, 2014

The United States, Russia and Ukraine - The Pot and the Kettle

Updated August 2014

When Ukraine and the Soviet Union/Russia parted ways in the early 1990s, Ukraine inherited the world's third largest inventory of nuclear weapons.  A state that had less than 50 million citizens had the following:

1.) 1900 strategic nuclear warheads

2.) 2500 tactical nuclear weapons

These included 130 SS-19 and 46 SS-24 intercontinental ballistic missiles and 25 Tu95 and 19 Tu-160 strategic bombers with air-launched cruise missiles.  Ukraine asserted administrative control over the nuclear weapons in may of 1992 but it took until May of 1993 for Ukraine's Supreme Council, the Verkhovna Rada, to act toward denuclearization.  In mid-1993, discussions began regarding the concept of a trilateral disarmament treaty with Ukraine between Russia and the United States.  In November 1993, the Verkhovna Rada voted to ratify the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START 1) but stipulated that any agreement must include security guarantees, compensation for nuclear weapons already returned to Russia, financial assistance for dismantlement of the weapons and an acknowledgement that only 36 percent of the launchers and 42 percent of the warheads in Ukrainian territory were subject to elimination.  This provoked both the United States and Russia.

In mid-January 1994, a trilateral deal, the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, was reached which provided security and financial assistance to Ukraine in return for signing the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and START.

By May 21, 1996, all nuclear warheads had been transferred to Russia and by January 2002, all strategic bombers on Ukrainian territory had been dismantled, converted or transferred to Russian hands.  Under the Cooperative Threat Reduction (Nunn-Lugar) Program, Ukraine received over $500 million in American financial assistance.

Now, let's look at the text of the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, signed by the Presidents of the United States, Ukraine and Russia and the Prime Minister of Great Britain on December 5, 1994:


        Memorandum on Security Assurances in Connection with Ukraine’s Accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

     Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America,

 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 world-wide security situation, including the end of the cold war, which have brought about conditions for deep reductions in nuclear forces,

     Confirm the following:

1. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with 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;

2. 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-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations; (my bold)

3. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with 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 own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind;

4. 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 provide assistance to 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; (my bold)

5. 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;

6. 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. (my bold)
     
This Memorandum will become applicable upon signature.
    
Signed in four copies having equal validity in the Ukrainian, English and Russian languages.
                                               
                                                For Ukraine:
                                               (Signed)  Leonid D. KUCHMA
                                               For the Russian Federation:
                                               (Signed)  Boris N. YELTSIN
                                               For the United Kingdom of Great
                                               Britain and Northern Ireland:
                                               (Signed)  John MAJOR
                                               For the United States:
                                               (Signed)  William J. CLINTON

Note that the signatories promise that they will "...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-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations"?  That's the key phrase.  This is why, in part, Vladimir Putin is using the mantra that Russia is merely protecting its people and investments in Ukraine as he states here:

"...When we see this we understand what worries the citizens of Ukraine, both Russian and Ukrainian, and the Russian-speaking population in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine. It is this uncontrolled crime that worries them. Therefore, if we see such uncontrolled crime spreading to the eastern regions of the country, and if the people ask us for help, while we already have the official request from the legitimate President, we retain the right to use all available means to protect those people. We believe this would be absolutely legitimate. This is our last resort..."

 The Budapest Memorandum agrees that:

1.) there is no obligation to defend Ukraine by any signatory.

2.) there is an obligation to appeal to the United Nations Security Council should Ukraine become a victim of an act of aggression the object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used.

3.) the signatories will consult each other in the even that a situation arises that raises a question about the commitments made in the Memorandum.  This obligation has been met even though the parties disagree with their stance on Ukraine.

The Budapest Memorandum quite clearly states one thing; the United States has no obligation to act in the Ukraine, they are not an ally and they are not a NATO nation.

I think if we look at one particular response that Mr. Putin gave during his interview with media representatives in early March 2014 when he was questioned about the response of the G8 to Russia's actions we will get a sense of how it will be particularly difficult to resolve the Ukraine dilemma:

"What do we pay attention to? We are often told our actions are illegitimate, but when I ask, “Do you think everything you do is legitimate?” they say “yes”. Then, I have to recall the actions of the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, where they either acted without any UN sanctions or completely distorted the content of such resolutions, as was the case with Libya. There, as you may know, the resolution only spoke of closing the airspace for government aircraft, while it all ended with bomb attacks and special forces land operations.
Our partners, especially in the United States, always clearly formulate their own geopolitical and state interests and follow them with persistence. Then, using the principle “You’re either with us or against us” they draw the whole world in. And those who do not join in get ‘beaten’ until they do.
Our approach is different. We proceed from the conviction that we always act legitimately. I have personally always been an advocate of acting in compliance with international law." (my bold)
The old adage about the pot and the kettle and which is blacker comes to mind, doesn't it? 

4 comments:

  1. Someone had a pretty good idea about what this may all be about. In short the US wants Russia to invade Ukraine so that the US can force the European Union into sanctioning Russia (specifically Russian natural gas) so that Europe will then need another source. That source of course would be US Natural gas. You can see how the Keiv backed Ukrainian armed forces become more aggressive after a high level US visits.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The only uncontrolled crime in Ukraine since the overthrow of the Yanukovych family has been Russian sponsored and Russian led.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The idea of America getting involved or jumping into a war in Ukraine would have been hard to imagine a few years ago. As I write this we are engaged in a war of words but the potential for this to escalate into a shooting war is real. Allowing events to deteriorate into a major war or possibly into what some see as World War III is becoming a reality. As insane as it appears this could become the final outcome.

    The location of this as a military confrontation is right in Putin's backyard and this is a strong advantage for Russia. It is silly to think Putin and Russia will back down. This means poking the bear is not a smart move. It cannot be emphasized enough this government was not elected by the people and that the military of Ukraine is divided and extremely weak. More about this subject in the article below.

    http://brucewilds.blogspot.com/2014/04/war-in-ukraine-bad-idea_26.html

    ReplyDelete

  4. You can't believe what i just got,… A loan of $ 60,000. I have been looking for a loan for the past 2years until i was referred to a legitimate lender. Though it was not that easy to approve my loan, as you know nothing good comes easy. But I got my loan within 4 hours i got my loan, and before i knew it, the loan was transferred to me. please friends, don't let any body deceive you and scam you for this is real. Contact them via Email: gaincreditloan1@gmail.com OR You can also whatsApp them at: at +1-(901)676-0641 (WhatsApp Only)

    ReplyDelete