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Ukraine ridicules Russia over Budapest Memorandum

The Ukrainian foreign minister suggests the signatories should get together and read the document once again.

Ukraine ridicules Russia over Budapest Memorandum
Pavlo Klimkin

Russia interprets the Budapest Memorandum, providing security assurances by its signatories relating to Ukraine's accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, as selectively as it does with regard to the Minsk agreements, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said.

He was commenting on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's statement that Russia did not violate the Budapest Memorandum. "The Budapest Memorandum mentions only one commitment– not to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine. No-one has threatened Ukraine with the use of nuclear weapons," he said at a news conference on 26 January.

In his comment for Interfax-Ukraine, Klimkin suggested that Lavrov might want to read the document once again to see that there are other clauses apart from Nos 4,5 which mention nuclear weapons.

"I have read the Russian diplomacy chief's statement that the Russian Federation has reportedly not violated its commitments under the Budapest Memorandum. I found this to be yet another confirmation of the specific ways in which the Russian side reads international documents. Just as it did with the Minsk agreements, Moscow reads the Budapest Memorandum from the end and does so too selectively," he said.

"Indeed, Russia has not officially threatened Ukraine with nuclear weapons. At least, not yet. Although a threat of placing such arms in occupied Crimea is a serious challenge to international peace and security," Klimkin said.

However, Russia has violated all other clauses of the memorandum, the Ukrainian foreign minister insists.

"It violated and continues to violate Clause 1 of the Budapest Memorandum on respect for the independence, sovereignty and existing borders of Ukraine. Russia violated and continues to violate Clause 2 of the Memorandum in which it confirmed that it would never use any weapons against Ukraine," he said.

What is more, Russia has been consistently violating Clause 3 of the Memorandum over the past several years by exerting economic pressure on Ukraine "to subdue the enforcement of Ukraine's rights attributable to its sovereignty to its own benefit".

In Klimkin's opinion, Lavrov's statement is yet another reason to call up a meeting of the signatories to the Budapest Memorandum.

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