(RepublicanWire.org) – Former US President Bill Clinton has admitted he regrets his role in Ukraine’s nuclear disarmament in the 1990s. He suggested that Russia would not be able to start a war against a nuclear Ukraine.
As Clinton said in an interview with the Irish broadcaster RTÉ , he feels personally involved in the fact that Ukraine was persuaded to give up nuclear weapons.
“I feel personally involved, because I made them (Ukraine) agree to give up nuclear weapons. And none of them believe that Russia would agree to this (invasion) if Ukraine still had its weapons “, Clinton said.
The former US president emphasized that Vladimir Putin, unlike his predecessor Boris Yeltsin, would not support an analogue of the Budapest Memorandum – a document that provided “security guarantees” for Kiev in exchange for renunciation of nuclear weapons.
“They (Ukrainians) were afraid to give it (nuclear weapons) because they thought that this was the only thing that protected them from expansionist Russia. Putin, when he saw an opportunity, violated the agreement and first seized Crimea. And I from “I feel terrible about this, because Ukraine is a very important country,” he stressed.
In 1991, Ukraine had the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world. However, the country has acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and has pledged to eliminate all nuclear weapons.
In 1994, the so-called Budapest Memorandum was signed between them, which was supposed to be a guarantee that the country would be protected from encroachments on its independence, sovereignty and borders after losing its nuclear status. The signatories were the United States, Great Britain and Russia.
In 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky opposed the return of nuclear weapons to Ukraine. He said “this is wrong”. Then he also noted that if Ukraine had nuclear weapons, Russia would not have dared to seize Crimea and start a war in the Donbass.
In February 2022, a few days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Zelensky spoke at the Munich Security Conference and returned to the issue.
“For the rejection of the world’s third largest nuclear potential, Ukraine received security guarantees. We do not have these weapons. As well as security,” he said.