The US has nothing to gain from a nuclear-armed Ukraine, and should work to bring the conflict there to a “speedy close,” Doug Bandow, a former assistant to President Ronald Reagan, wrote on Thursday. His warning came after a Polish MEP suggested the West should give Kiev nuclear weapons.
Radoslaw Sikorski, who served as Poland’s foreign minister between 2007 and 2014, told Ukrainian TV last week that “the West has the right to give Ukraine nuclear warheads.” Sikorski argued that as Moscow allegedly violated the 1994 Budapest Memorandum – in which Russia, the US and the UK promised to “respect the independence and sovereignty” of Ukraine in exchange for Kiev surrendering its nukes – Ukraine’s backers could now send these weapons of mass destruction to Ukraine.
“The fact that a once-serious political figure would advocate turning the ongoing conflict into a nuclear confrontation demonstrates how dangerous that conflict has become,” Bandow wrote in the American Conservative. According to Bandow, Ukraine knew when it signed the Budapest Memorandum that its security guarantees depended on the UN Security Council, on which Russia has a permanent seat.