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by
Rick Moran

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March 1, 2014 - 11:45 am

There seems to be a misreading of what the U.S. and Great Britain are obligated to do under the agreement signed in 1994 that gave Ukraine certain assurances about its territorial integrity in exchange for Kiev giving up its stockpile of nuclear weapons.

My friend and colleague at PJ Media Bryan Preston is wrong when he writes, “Russia knows that the United States has a security treaty with Ukraine….” There is no “security treaty.” Far from it. The “Budapest Memorandum” contains no language that can be construed as obligating the US, Great Britain, or Russia to come to Ukraine’s aid if her territorial integrity is threatened.

You can read it here. It says, in part:

1. The United States of America, the Russian Fed
-eration, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to
Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE
[Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe]
Final Act, to respect the Independence and Sovereignty
and the existing borders of Ukraine.

2. The United States of America, the Russian Fed
-eration, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland, reaffirm their obligation to refrain
from the threat or use of force against the territorial in
-tegrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that
none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine
except in self-defense or otherwise in accordance with
the Charter of the United Nations.

3. The United States of America, the Russian Fed
-eration, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to
Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE
Final Act, to refrain from economic coercion designed
to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by
Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and
thus to secure advantages of any kind.

4. The United States of America, the Russian Fed
-eration, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to seek
immediate United Nations Security Council action to
provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon
State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of
Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim
of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggres
-sion in which nuclear weapons are used

The Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) became the the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) a year after the Budapest Memorandum went into effect. There is nothing in the OSCE principles that would require any member state to come to the military defense of another.

And there is nothing in the Budapest Memorandum which requires the U.S. to take military action to protect Ukraine.

How about Russia’s invasion?

Is there anything legally binding about the “Budapest Memorandum” regarding Russia’s obligations to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity?

“That’s actually a much more complex question than it may sound. It is binding in international law, but that doesn’t mean it has any means of enforcement,” says Barry Kellman is a professor of law and director of the International Weapons Control Center at DePaul University’s College of Law.

Reading the agreement, it becomes obvious that Russia has willfully violated it. Perhaps the next time a U.S. president comes to the Senate with a nuclear arms reduction treaty, senators will remember that.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
And I forgot to mention what J. Christian Adams pointed out.

"Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons to Russia in exchange for an American guarantee of security."

So you can talk about "legal obligations" all you want. Russia can have the Crimea and their Naval Base, and every politician and historian knows it. But if they go after Ukraine itself, and we do nothing, every treaty we have ever signed will be rightfully viewed with deep suspicion. The consequences of the lack of confidence in U.S. promises could prove to unravel many many other things that have taken decades to put into place. Much evil that was previously contained could be released into action. This would be a "fundamental transformation." These are dangerous days.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
I suspect the Ukrainians have a different view of it.

Regardless, they'll be the last state to give up nukes in exchange for empty words on paper.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (10)
All Comments   (10)
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Obama and his "fellow travelers" hate the military. This was evident in his speeches even while he was a US Senator. Coupled to this innate hatred Mr. Obama has of our military (was evident in his first term, didn't even try to mask it) is his love of winning votes through a massive expansion of "the collective" a welfare state a la France. BUT....
NATURE ABHORS A VACUUM! There's talk this is USA's new world policy... ISOLATIONISM.
This is in life, science, politics, geopolitics et al. When Obama was elected, we of the ultra conservative wing of Republican party (Tea Party) predicted with accuracy beyond reproach…Obama’s total dismantling of USA’s military (GUNS)and wild expansion of his vision for a welfare State(BUTTER). It’s a GUNS vs. BUTTER war. See, the architect for Obama’s (then) successes (2006/7) was one individual, a Brazilian professor called Roberto Unger, who had successfully articulated two Presidential bids in Brazil. Before Obama (and Axlerod) began their “strategizing” (racism) for 2012 elections, Mr. Unger got wind of Obama’s team effort to “segmentation” of America into disparate groups (which Obama’s team did with success). Mr. Unger told Obama’s team it would lead to his winning the “battle” but ultimate defeat (lose the war). That is where all this is at now. One just has to look at what “segmentation” has done to America and all the World and one sees chaos. Disparate groups, seeking new alignment(s)…Mr. Unger predicted this would happen…see nature abhors a vacuum. Pray. Amen. God Bless America. Join a Tea Party and support a ArticleV committee for the:1) term limits, 2)balanced budget and 3)return of States Rights. Save America, she’s on life support.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Taiwan is what is for dinner. Crimea was for breakfast.

Welcome to the NWO compliments of Obma & other liberal Democrats.

Bon Appétit!
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
I suspect the Ukrainians have a different view of it.

Regardless, they'll be the last state to give up nukes in exchange for empty words on paper.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Agreed. Everything is gonna be all right. Pope will hold another four-hour Peace Vigil. Putin won't overplay his hand -- y'now what he says, "Twenty steps forward, one step back" which will allow Obama and CNN, et al. to save face. Bloodless invasion, declare peace on the world and all that.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
(Sorry for typo; meant "y'know".) When Obama does nothing, among the talking point distributed to the trolls will be, "Well...Ike did nothing about Hungary!"
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
"These boots are made for walkin' and that's just what they'll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you"

- Putin to Obama, a love song
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...boots"? You mean "jackboots", right?
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Your headline is inaccurate.

Based on your article, it should read something like "The West is Not Obligated to Go to War Over Ukraine."

The "Memorandum" obviously intends to convey much more than the empty words which lawyers can find to get us out of the implied obligation. Walking away from that, regardless of the "legality", would expose America as feckless at best, and a betrayer of allies at worst.

Now, if we had a strong leader, and that leader was able to muster support from other strong leaders, I think things would not have gotten to the point they are at now. I also think if things HAD gotten to this point despite a strong leader, that a strong leader could still make Putin back down without a full scale war actually occurring.

It is a complex situation. Russia actually has rights in Crimea, relating to the Naval Base in particular, and they will NOT give up those rights. If Russia confines itself to Crimea, I think no war will happen.

If Russia chooses to go beyond Crimea, it will depend upon the will of the Ukrainians as to the outcome. The West could tip the balance, if it chooses.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
You're misreading the agreement and the spirit in which it was signed. We wanted to keep Ukraine and other former Soviet republics from becoming nuclear powers in order to simplify the geopolitical calculus. Ukraine wanted a guarantee of territorial integrity. Russia wanted what Russia always wants: A buffer between itself and Europe Ukraine promised to give up nukes, Russia promised to not invade, and we promised to not turn Ukraine into a client state. We have lived up to our agreements, as has Ukraine. Russia has not. Everyone should keep that in mind when they negotiate with the Russians. And I think it's now obvious that nuclear weapons are necessary for any non-NATO former Russian satellite to maintain independence.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
And I forgot to mention what J. Christian Adams pointed out.

"Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons to Russia in exchange for an American guarantee of security."

So you can talk about "legal obligations" all you want. Russia can have the Crimea and their Naval Base, and every politician and historian knows it. But if they go after Ukraine itself, and we do nothing, every treaty we have ever signed will be rightfully viewed with deep suspicion. The consequences of the lack of confidence in U.S. promises could prove to unravel many many other things that have taken decades to put into place. Much evil that was previously contained could be released into action. This would be a "fundamental transformation." These are dangerous days.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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