Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances


On December 5, 1994 the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances was signed. Under its terms Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons left on their soil when the USSR disbanded in return for security guarantees.

When the Soviet Union fell apart, a significant portion of its nuclear arsenal was in the now independent Ukraine. Smaller arsenals were also in Belarus and Kazakhstan. With nuclear weapons in so many different countries, there was a concern by the major powers that this would lead to further nuclear proliferation. The United States, the United Kingdom, and the Russian Federation negotiated an agreement with the three countries under which they would give up their nuclear weapons, which would be returned to the Russian Federation. An agreement was signed in Budapest on December 5, 1994. Under terms of the deal, which became known as the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, the signatures agreed to recognize the territorial integrity of the three nations that were giving up the nuclear weapon. They promised not to interfere in the countries' internal politics and pledged to request security council intervention if the territorial integrity of any of the states was threatened.

By 1996 all of the nuclear weapons in possession of the three countries had been transferred to the Russian Federation.