© Getty Images / davidhills
The idea of supplying nuclear weapons to Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict between Kiev and Moscow amounts to provoking a “nuclear conflict in the center of Europe” and is downright insane, Russian State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on Sunday.
The official responded to the remarks made by Radoslaw Sikorski, a Polish MEP and former foreign minister, who said the West was in its “right” to do so.
“With such MPs, the Europeans will have much more serious troubles than those they have already faced today – refugees, record inflation, energy crisis,” Volodin said in a social media post.
Sikorski is instigating a nuclear conflict in the center of Europe. He does not think about the future of either Ukraine or Poland. If his proposals materialize, these countries will disappear, together with the whole Europe.
Volodin also questioned the mental health of the veteran Polish diplomat, suggesting that the latter should be “examined by a psychiatrist,” surrender his MEP mandate and stay home “under supervision” from now on. “Precisely because of people like Sikorsky, is not only necessary to liberate Ukraine from the Nazi ideology, but also to demilitarize it, ensuring the country’s non-nuclear status,” the official added.
Sikorski, who led Poland’s Foreign Ministry between 2007 and 2014, floated the idea in an interview with Ukraine’s Espreso TV on Saturday. The diplomat accused Russia of violating the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, a framework agreement signed by Ukraine, Russia, the UK, and the US, under which Kiev surrendered the nuclear arsenal it inherited after the collapse of the Soviet Union in return for security guarantees and economic benefits.
“The West has the right to give Ukraine nuclear warheads so that it could protect its independence,” Sikorski claimed.
The politician’s remarks echoed statements made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shortly before the conflict broke out in late February. Speaking at a security conference in Munich, Germany, Zelensky suggested Ukraine may give up its non-nuclear status, as the 1994 agreement was “not working.”
“Ukraine received security guarantees in exchange for the disposal of the world’s third-largest nuclear potential. We don’t have such weapons. We don’t have the guarantees either,” Zelensky said back then.
Kiev has repeatedly accused Moscow of breaching the Budapest Memorandum after Crimea voted to join Russia amid a coup in Kiev in 2014. Moscow, however, has consistently rejected such claims, insisting that the 1994 document did not oblige Russia to “coerce a part of Ukraine to stay” within the country.
Russia attacked the neighboring state following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.