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The Foreign Secretary William Hague, US Secretary of State John Kerry and the interim Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Andriy Deshchytsia, met in Paris earlier today as parties to the Budapest memorandum. The memorandum committed those countries to “refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine” in return for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons. Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, was invited but didn’t attend.
The following statement was agreed.
US/UK/Ukraine Press Statement on the Budapest Memorandum Meeting
On 5 March 2014, US Secretary of State John Kerry hosted a meeting in Paris with the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, William Hague, and the Acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Andriy Deshchytsia.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the urgent question of the Budapest Memorandum, the agreement signed by the Governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Russia in 1994. The United States had conveyed an invitation to the Russian Federation to the meeting. We deeply regret that the Russian Federation declined to attend.
The Budapest Memorandum sets out the obligations of signatories in return for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons. Under its terms, the three parties commit to refrain from the threat or use of force against Ukraine’s territorial integrity. The Memorandum also obliges the UK, US and Russia to consult in the event of a situation arising where the memorandum commitments are questioned.
Ukraine voluntarily surrendered the world’s third largest nuclear weapons arsenal in exchange for these assurances. The three Governments treat these assurances with utmost seriousness, and expect Russia to as well. Russia has chosen to act unilaterally and militarily. The United Kingdom and United States will continue to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and we commend the new Ukrainian government for not taking actions that might escalate the situation. Russia’s continued violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity can only degrade Russia’s international standing and lead to greater political and economic consequences.
In the meeting, the Governments of the United States, United Kingdom and Ukraine discussed steps needed to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity and called on Russia to engage in consultations with Ukraine as they have committed to in the Budapest memorandum.
The United States, United Kingdom and Ukraine agreed that direct talks between Ukraine and Russia, facilitated as needed by members of the international community, are crucial to resolving the current situation. They also agreed that international observers should be deployed immediately in Ukraine, especially in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. The three governments reaffirmed the importance of protecting the rights of all Ukrainian citizens, and believed that international observers would help address any concerns regarding irregular forces, military activity and the treatment of all Ukrainians irrespective of their ethnicity or spoken language.