Have You Heard about the Budapest Memorandum? Its Totally Worthless

Nathanael Tilahun

    Research output: Book/Report/Inaugural speech/Farewell speechReportAcademic


    Have you heard about the Budapest Memorandum? It’s Totally Worthless Speaking of the current Russia-Ukraine crisis, here is an interesting but less visible international legal dimension to the story. Ukraine used to be part of the Soviet Union, during which time it had possessed huge stockpile of nuclear weapons arsenal – actually the third largest stockpile in the world at the time. Russia would not have ventured into Crimea today had Ukraine maintained possession of those nuclear weapons. What happened in 1994 was dramatic, and a bit embarrassing for Ukraine. At the end of the Cold War Ukraine agreed to an international deal that would deprive it of the entire nuclear weapon stockpile in its territory, mostly being transferred to Russia. In exchange, Russia, the US, and UK signed a binding pledge, the so-called Budapest Memorandum, guaranteeing the security of Ukraine. Now, what is interesting about this Memorandum is that it actually contained zero added-value as it offered Ukraine nothing other than what general international law already provided. This article walks the reader through all the five articles of this Memorandum (yes it contained only five articles).
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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