What does paragraph 4 of the Budapest Memorandum show,

What does paragraph 4 of the Budapest Memorandum show,


José Ribeiro e Castro, lawyer and former leader of the CDS, writes in an editorial that, in terms of public opinion and political debate, I believe that Western action in the face of the brutality of the Kremlin’s aggression against Ukraine and the extreme danger to peace in Europe and in the world is weak, he writes, according to Diário de Notícias.

In his opinion, “The response in political and military support was very positive, even beyond what could be expected.

But after the initial upheaval, the political discourse cooled and did not materialize in the ceaseless effort to expose the illegitimacy of the aggression, to exhaustively enumerate the atrocities committed, to maintain a high level of public condemnation, to extend international disapproval .

Political discourse and the visible side of diplomatic action seem to have fallen into an indolent normalcy, without verve and ardor or boldness and bravery.

This war coincided with an irresponsible idyll with nuclear force:

-occasional threats of escalation from Putin and other Kremlin voices;

– military actions at the Chernobyl and Zaporizhia nuclear power plants;

– the blocking by Russia, on August 27, of the final agreement at the 10th conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, an agreement accepted by the remaining 191 signatories;

-and the announcement a few days ago that Kim Jong-un’s Korea, a good friend of Putin, passed the law authorizing automatic nuclear attacks.

These reckless acts praise the remarkable gesture of Ukraine, which, three years after gaining independence, completely abandoned its nuclear arsenal inherited from the Soviet Union. It was the third largest in the world. A part was dismantled, a part was transferred to Russia, in accordance with the agreements concluded”, he states.

Furthermore, “The pillar of these agreements is the Budapest Memorandum, signed on December 5, 1994, between Ukraine, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The memorandum committed these three powers to “respect the independence and sovereignty as well as the existing borders of Ukraine” and not to “threat or use force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine.”

The four leaders (Kucima, Yeltsin, Major and Clinton) declared themselves “committed to continuing the process of political, military and economic security construction in an undivided Europe” and “confirmed the fact that OSCE commitments in the sphere of human rights, economy and security is the cornerstone of the common European security space and contributes to ensuring that the countries and peoples of this space will not be subjected to the threat of military force”, according to Diário de Notícias.

Specifically, “This bright and promising spirit was served by paragraph 4 of the Budapest Memorandum, in which Russia, the United Kingdom and the US “reaffirmed their commitment to seek immediate action by the United Nations Security Council to grant assistance to Ukraine”, if it falls victim to aggression.

The Security Council is, under the terms of the Charter of the United Nations (Article 24 paragraph 1), the body entrusted with “primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security”.

The United Kingdom and the United States could submit a motion (or other appropriate proposal) to the Security Council to assess the invasion of Ukraine and the nuclear dangers involved, in the light of the commitments in the Memorandum and the law of the United Nations and the OSCE. The two countries could also invite the Russian Federation to join the motion, just as it joined the Budapest Memorandum.

Therefore, it could be called the Lavrov Motion, in honor of the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation in New York who, together with the other three ambassadors, signed the official communication to the United Nations, on December 7, 1994, of the Memorandum and the Joint Declaration of the national leaders .

Of these four qualified witnesses, two have already died: the Ukrainian Anatolii Zlenko and, deceased a month after the start of this war, the American Madeleine Albright. The third, Britain’s David Hannay, would probably appreciate this Motion, even more so if Sergei Lavrov lived up to it and his 1994 signature.

It would be very interesting to see diplomacy and politics moving around this axis, the right axis.