Oleksandr Turchynov: the Budapest Memorandum – disarmament is senseless!
21 years ago, on Dec. 5, 1994 the Budapest Memorandum was signed. At that time Ukraine, a very young independent state, which turned three years old, was being convinced that it will not need nuclear weapons, as such super powerful states like the US, Britain and Russia became guarantors of its sovereignty, inviolability of its borders and independence.
Then Ukraine's political leadership had believed in the efficacy of international guarantees, but 20 years later it turned out that the guarantees were hollow and had no bases at all, although they were signed by the top officials of the signatory countries.
Not only nuclear weapons were taken away from us, but all delivery vehicles, which could carry not only nuclear warheads. Our missile silos were blown up, rocket fuel was utilized, control centers were destroyed... Ukraine has lost its strategic bombers and cruise missiles, which, incidentally, now Russia uses in Syrian war. Kremlin puppets, who were at Ukrainian corridors of power, attempted to finally finish off and destroy the Ukrainian army and the entire sphere, responsible for the security and defense of the country.
In February 2014, 20 years after the signing of the memorandum, one of the signatories insidiously attacked our country - the occupation of Crimea by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation began, and the Russian parliament allowed Putin to introduce troops into the territory of Ukraine. At that time Ukraine had a completely destroyed system of power, totally disrupted economy, not mission capable army, demoralized power-wielding agencies...
Being in the very epicenter of those events, immediately after electing me the Chairman of Verkhovna Rada, being the acting President, and for some time being in control over the remnants of the Cabinet of Ministers, I appealed to our strategic partners for help in the context of their obligations under the Memorandum. But we were politely replied that the Budapest Memorandum is a formal document, it does not foresee the actual implementation mechanisms of the provided guarantees. In other words... Ukraine was disarmed for real and the guarantees were "fictitious".
We were sympathized, we were supported politically and economically, but it became clear that no one would protect us and it is necessary to rely on our own capabilities. Even lethal weapons, which we lacked so much, especially at the first phase of aggression, our partners still do not supply us with, without giving any real arguments.
Failure to fulfill the Budapest Memorandum has proven the futility of disarmament, demonstrated the complete destruction of the system of collective security, brought the paradigm of the new century into medieval format of "rule of force" that creates a potential threat to everyone. The weapon again becomes the main argument in the international relations, proving the old almost forgotten rule: if you want peace for your country - elaborately prepare for war.
And another conclusion out of these events for Ukraine: in the new millennium everyone should rely solely on themselves. Therefore, it is difficult to overestimate the significance of the Armed Forces for our country. Having paid the extremely high price, we realized that the key to our independence and freedom - is precisely the potent army and modern weapons. Revival of our military and economic potential is the only way to restore territorial integrity and democratic development of Ukraine.
And in this issue only we can help ourselves!