WASHINGTON (Sputnik): The narrative that the conflict in Ukraine could have been avoided if Kiev had been able to keep nuclear weapons after the collapse of the Soviet Union is false and dangerous, United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu said on Friday.
“I think from the United Nations side, we have been saying that [it is] sometimes [an] inaccurate narrative that if Ukraine kept its nuclear arsenals, the whole thing [conflict] would not have happened. It is a dangerous narrative and we want to counter that,” Nakamitsu said during a panel discussion at the Munich Security Conference.
Nakamitsu underscored that the only way to eliminate the risk of a nuclear conflict is to completely abandon this type of weapon, but added that such a development will not happen overnight.
Kiev signed the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances in 1994, giving up the world’s third-largest stockpile of nuclear weapons. The UN Security Council pledged to provide assistance to Ukraine if the country is under threat of nuclear attack by other states.