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US rejects criticism of historic Ukraine nuclear deal

Then US Assistant Secretary Secretary of State and New START negotiator Rose Gottemoeller speaks in Moscow on March 30, 2012A top US official hit back on Friday against accusations the West has failed to live up to promises made exactly 20 years ago to Ukraine in exchange for it giving up nuclear weapons. The Budapest Memorandum that came into force on December 5, 1994 led to Ukraine voluntarily giving up the huge stockpile of nuclear warheads it inherited from the Soviet Union. In exchange, Britain, the United States and Russia agreed to respect Ukraine’s borders and ensure its security — a promise which many Ukrainians see as unkept in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for eastern separatists this year.

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