This was surprising.
Bill Clinton, the ex-president of the United States, has expressed a “personal stake” in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, as he played a significant role in convincing Ukraine to abandon their nuclear arsenal after the Cold War.
In transcript provided by Newsweek, “I feel a personal stake because I got them [Ukraine] to agree to give up their nuclear weapons. None of them believe that Russia would have pulled this stunt if Ukraine still had their weapons,” Clinton shockingly said.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine held a collection of nuclear weapons. However, in 1994, Ukraine surrendered these weapons, despite not having complete control over the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons before committing to non-proliferation efforts.
According to some Ukrainians, if Ukraine had not surrendered its nuclear weapons in 1994, Moscow would not have sent its troops across the border in February 2022. Oleksiy Goncharenko, a Ukrainian MP, stated during the outbreak of full-scale war that Ukraine is the only country in history that relinquished its nuclear arsenal, which was the world’s third-largest at the time, as he spoke to Fox News.
Goncharenko also pointed out that Kyiv surrendered its nuclear weapons based on assurances from the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Russian Federation. However, he questioned the whereabouts of these guarantees during the current conflict, stating that Ukraine is now being bombed and its people killed.
In January 1994, a document known as the Trilateral Statement was signed by Bill Clinton, the President of the United States at the time, Boris Yeltsin, the then-Russian leader, and Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk. Later that year, in the Budapest Memorandum, Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom made a series of security guarantees to Ukraine in exchange for its commitment to eliminate its nuclear weapons.
“I knew that President Putin did not support the agreement President Yeltsin made never to interfere with Ukraine’s territorial boundaries—an agreement he made because he wanted Ukraine to give up their nuclear weapons,” Clinton stated.