Mustafa Dzhemilev: Ukraine needs to return nuclear state status
15:26, — Europa
If the West isn't going to protect Ukraine from Russian aggression, then Ukraine should defend itself by rebuilding its nuclear arsenal.
It has been stated by former Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People Mustafa Dzhemilev in his address in Washington on April 2, Inopressa informs.
The New Republic reminds that Ukraine denuclearized in 1994, when Russia, Great Britain, and the U.S. signed the Budapest Memorandum promising to protect the territorial integrity of Ukraine in exchange for the country's accession to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Russia violated the agreement by invading Crimea, Dzhemilev says, so why shouldn’t Ukraine get nukes again?
“We in Ukraine feel cheated, we feel that we were betrayed,” Dzhemilev said. “Now, we need to regain our nuclear status.” (Russia denies that it violated the Budapest agreement.)
Meanwhile, the date of April 18 looms for the 290,000 Crimean Tatars living on the Russian-controlled peninsula. That's when all residents of Crimea will automatically become Russian citizens unless they submit an official statement expressing their desire to retain Ukrainian nationality.
“Once people become Russian citizens, we end up in a trap,” Dzhemilev explained. Under Russian law, any discussion of territorial change of Russian property is considered separatism, punishable by five years in jail. Already, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar schools are being shut down in Crimea, and the use of both languages in public is increasingly taboo—Ukrainian especially, says Dzhemilev. Those who express views that diverge from Kremlin propaganda will put their lives at risk, so the Crimean Tatars are thinking about establishing their own independent television network—based somewhere in Europe, beyond Putin’s reach—to broadcast news to the Crimean Tatar diaspora.
The leader of Crimean Tatars is pleading for the West to impose stronger sanctions on Russia. Dzhemilev said that if immediate action isn’t taken to stop Russian expansionism, “Later, we will spend 100 times more money. ...If the U.S. had acted more decisively in 2008, we would not see what we’ve seen in Crimea. Pretty soon, we’ll see Russian troops in Brussels,” Dzhemilev is quoted as saying.