Russia committed to respecting Ukrainian borders in 1994 Budapest Memorandum. No point in new demands– Russian Foreign Ministry
Russia has observed all the relevant guarantees in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has said – despite the fact that in early 2014 Russia invaded and started to occupy Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, and later that year fomented a fake insurgency in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region that continues to this day.
The Memorandum was signed by several nations, including Russia and the United States, and gave assurances of Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty in exchange for the country handing over the nuclear weapons it inherited after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
At the time, Ukraine’s nuclear arsenal was the third largest in the world, although Moscow held the codes needed to use the weapons.
Ryabkov, speaking on Dec. 18, said Russia would not provide any further guarantees that it would not invade deeper into Ukraine, Russian news agency Interfax reported.
“They (NATO and its allies) urge us to carry out certain measures on our own land,” said Ryabkov. “We are naturally opposed to both the content and the form of such a demand.”
Ryabkov said calls for Russia to draw-down its troop buildup on the Russian-Ukrainian border were “inappropriate,” and that no further security guarantees should be asked of Russia.
“We provided all the relevant guarantees when the Budapest Memorandum was signed in 1994,” said Ryabkov.
Ryabkov claimed that Ukraine “…is twisting the meaning of the memorandum…indulged by its Western patrons.”
“The essence of the Budapest Memorandum was to provide security guarantees to Ukraine as a non-nuclear state by definition,” Ryabkov said. “In this regard all the guarantees have been provided and observed.”
The Kremlin continues to deny that its military are deployed on the Ukrainian mainland, although there has long been overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Russia also openly deploys its military in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, which has been under Russian occupation since 2014.
The Russian deputy foreign minister also said that allegedly there was nothing in the Budapest Memorandum on “coups d’etat in Ukraine” and “coming to a conclusion on behalf of part of the population” as well as on “whether it makes sense to remain independent or to become part of the Russian Federation.”
The Kremlin routinely falsely claims that the 2013-2014 EuroMaidan revolution in Ukraine was a “coup d’etat.” In fact, it was a three-month-long nationwide popular uprising against the decision of the then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to align Ukraine with Russia rather than the European Union.
Yanukovych fled Ukraine after his security forces murdered dozens of Ukrainian protesters by sniper fire in central Kyiv on Feb. 20, 2014.
Russia has increased tensions in the region in recent months by massing around 100,000 of its troops near Ukraine’s borders. This follows a similar buildup in April 2021.
On Dec. 10, the Russian Foreign Office announced that if Ukraine formed closer ties with NATO it could provoke a large-scale military conflict in Europe. The Kremlin urged NATO to reverse a 2008 decision that set both Ukraine and Georgia on a path to membership.
Then, on Dec. 17, Russia issued security demands to the United States and NATO, saying it would not accept Ukraine joining the NATO alliance.
During his talks with U.S. President Joe Biden, Russian President Vladimir Putin asked for guarantees that there would be no further eastward expansion for NATO. Biden did not accede to the demand, and Ukraine continues to proceed with NATO alignment.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has called on NATO members to reject the Kremlin’s demands.
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