This morning, in my inbox, there was a link to an extensive background article about the situation in the Ukraine. The title of it is The Shoals of Ukraine: Where American Illusions and Great-Power Politics Collide. It’s a good article well worth the time to read as a refresher of current events with information linking to past events. There were four paragraphs in it that rang my bell. They are as follows:
• At an international summit held in Budapest in December 1994, more than 50 leaders were scheduled to create the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe out of a preexisting conference of the same name. British, Russian, and U.S. leaders used the occasion to offer Kyiv the so-called Budapest Memorandum in an effort to assuage Ukrainian concerns.
• Washington had by then also spearheaded the establishment of a NATO-related security organization called the Partnership for Peace. This partnership was open to post-Soviet states—meaning that it offered a security berth to Ukraine, thus providing it with a further inducement to give up its nukes.
• The Budapest Memorandum initially seemed to represent a significant moment of shared triumph and unity between Washington and Moscow. As U.S. President Bill Clinton advised Yeltsin, they were jointly engaged in a worthy cause: “We have the first chance ever since the rise of the nation state to have the entire continent of Europe live in peace.” Clinton rightly emphasized that Ukraine was the “linchpin” of that effort.
Story Jumps to 2014 –
• Furious at these demonstrations, Putin gave full vent to his imperial instincts. In violation of the Budapest Memorandum, Russian regular and paramilitary troops took control of the Crimean Peninsula. Putin sought openly to reintegrate the post-Soviet space in a new Eurasian military, political, and economic alliance to balance against both the EU and China. Russia also launched hybrid warfare in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. Moscow’s goal was to make the “federalization” of Ukraine necessary, with each of its provinces deciding foreign policy issues on its own, because that would spell the end of Ukraine’s pro-Western aspirations.
Sofia Meeting on the Protection of the Environment, October 16, 1990 (Sofia) and November 3, 1990 (Vienna), that the “polluter-pays” principle be applied to physical and juridical persons; PDF
Charter of Paris for a New Europe, 1990 OSCE, Paris, November 19-21, 1990, “The participation of both North American and European States is a fundamental characteristic of the CSCE; it underlies its past achievements and is essential to the future of the CSCE process. Addresses areas of cooperation: Human Dimension, Security, Economic-Co-operation, Environment PDF
This document was adopted at the 91st Plenary Meeting of the Special Committee of the CSCE Forum for Security Co-operation in Budapest on 28 November 1994 (see FSC/Journal No. 94).