- Kathryn Patterson
Budapest Memorandums of Security Assurances, 1994
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine had the third largest stockpile of strategic nuclear weapons in the world. The country had more nuclear weapons that Britain, France, and China - combined! To foster peace and help the world recover from the Cold war, the U.S., Russia, and United Kingdom got together in 1994 with Ukraine to hammer out a deal that dismantled Ukraine's nuclear weapons in exchange for some protections for Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. These protections included acknowledgement and respect of each country's borders as stated in the first two provisions of the Budapest Memorandums of Security Assurances:
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-defense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;Now Russia has broken the treaty with its brazen invasion of Crimea. And what are we, the international community, doing about it? Sadly, not enough. We aren't publicly going after Russia's economy by upping our gas production to fulfill Europe's need. We aren't publicly pushing for the U.N. to react to the situation. We aren't publicly funding alternative fuel sources. We haven't even put economic sanction in place yet. I wonder if those in power know that we are potential playing right into Putin's hand. After the lack of a strong international response to Georgia, Putin is betting on the same type of response now. Without outwardly saying it, Putin is using Crimea and Ukraine to tell Belarus, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Moldavia that they need to play by his rules or thy will be next because no one is willing to stop him.