Bill Clinton Feels Like He Has a “Personal Stake” in Ukraine

Bill Clinton Feels Like He Has a

( – Former president Bill Clinton has admitted he feels partly responsible for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Clinton helped negotiate away Ukraine’s nuclear weapons, which would have deterred Russia’s aggression. Now he regrets his misguided diplomacy.

When Ukraine left the disintegrating USSR in 1991, the country inherited part of the Soviet nuclear arsenal, totaling around 1,700 nuclear warheads and the ICBMs and bombers to deliver them. When Clinton took office in 1993, he was determined to get Ukraine to give up the weapons in an attempt to hold the number of nuclear-armed states down to the five recognized by the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In 1994 he reached a deal with Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk. Ukraine agreed to transfer the weapons back to Russia or destroy them; in exchange, it got $700 million in financial assistance from the US, while the US and Russia guaranteed the security of Ukraine’s borders.

In the 78 years since the atomic bombing of Japan, nobody has invaded a nuclear-armed state. In 2014, 20 years after Ukraine gave up its nukes, Russia invaded and annexed the strategically important Crimea region; in February of 2022, it launched a full-scale invasion of the rest of the country. Would Vladimir Putin have dared to attack Ukraine if it still had 1,700 nuclear warheads? Clinton doesn’t think so.

Talking to Irish TV channel RTÉ on April 4, the former president admitted he feels “a personal stake” because he persuaded Ukraine it would be safe without its nuclear arsenal. He added that nobody believes Russia would have attacked “if Ukraine still had their weapons.” According to Clinton, Ukraine wanted to keep the warheads because it believed nothing else could protect them from Russian expansionism. It turns out they were right — and Clinton was badly wrong.

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