Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Ukraine of violating the Budapest memorandum. While answering the journalists the official refused to accept the possibility of a violation of the memorandum by Russia and stated that Ukraine is the side having violated it.
The Budapest Memorandum is a document signed in the capital of Hungary in 1994 which stipulates the voluntary refusal of nuclear weapon by Ukraine. Instead the other three signatory countries including the Russian Federation, the USA and the UK commit to respect the independence, sovereignty and the existing state borders of Ukraine. The Memorandum also reaffirms the commitment of the mentioned states to “refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine.” In accordance with the Memorandum the abovementioned states shall never use their weapons “except in self-defense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.”
On the other hand, Ukraine considers annexation of the Crimea constituting a part of Ukraine in 2014 by Russia a violation of those commitments (and it is obvious). However, Lavrov claims that it is Ukraine to have violated the Memorandum as it had simultaneously committed “to not encourage the anti-Russian neo-nationalistic xenophobic tendencies.” However what happened after Maidan was a violation of this agreement. While speaking about the pro-Russian “military actions” in the Supreme Council of the Crimea Lavrov stated that “it is also a violation of international law including the Budapest Memorandum whereby Ukraine had committed to not support xenophobic sentiments.”
However, the Memorandum comprising 6 points doesn’t contain a line specifying Ukraine’s commitment “to not encourage anti-Russian tendencies.” In general, such a formulation is not appropriate for any such international document, and Lavrov’s statement is disinformation.
In addition to annexation of the Crimea, Ukraine considers Russia’s support to the separatist movement in the south-east of Ukraine a violation of the agreement as well. Despite the evidence in media regarding presence of Russian ammunition and military servicemen in Ukraine, Russia denies having violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia.