Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Todays Ukraine debate & my question to William Hague - echoes of 1938?

In parliament today we debated Ukraine, amnd sought assurances from the Foreign Secretary that three key things were happening:
- we are doing everything diplomatically to resolve this
- that we are applying more pressure on Russia both to deescalate the situation and discourage it from doing more damage
- and generally seek answers both as to the Russian position, the consequences of their annexation and our options for the weeks ahead. The debate is set out in full below. I asked William Hague the following question:

Guy Opperman (Hexham):

In 1994 Russia and all other key countries signed the Budapest memorandum, which preserved Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty. What is the Foreign Secretary’s assessment of the clear breach by Russia of the 1994 memorandum, and how do we avoid reaching a situation in which we all feel the creeping threat of 1938?

The reason why the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances is important is this: it is a political agreement signed in Budapest, Hungary on 5 December 1994, providing security assurances by its signatories relating to Ukraine's accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Memorandum was originally signed by three nuclear-powers, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom. Later, China and France statements of assurance as well. The memorandum included security assurances against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine as well as those of Belarus and Kazakhstan. As a result Ukraine gave up the world's third largest nuclear weapons stockpile between 1994 and 1996. In short it is clear that Russia is in breach of an internation agreement, and its obligations to Ukraine under the Budapest Memorandum, and in clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Full debate is here: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/commons/todays-commons-debates/read/unknown/258/