As Russian forces mass along Ukraine’s border and the United States shows no sign it will do anything beyond diplomatically trying to forestall a conflict, analysts say the crisis exposes not only the feeble framework of the 1994 deal that bargained away Ukraine’s nukes for temporary peace but also Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assessment that he can take advantage of a weak Biden administration.
Sunday marked the 27th anniversary of the signing of the Budapest Memorandum, an agreement inked in December 1994 by Ukraine, Russia, the U.S., and the U.K. in which Ukraine agreed to give up its nuclear arsenal, which was the third largest in the world at the time, in exchange for sovereignty and security. The signatories of the pact also promised not to act hostile toward Ukraine. All those guarantees are now being broken or challenged by Russia.
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