Former US President Bill Clinton claims he had a premonition in 2011 that Vladimir Putin would do something about Ukraine. The British Financial Times quoted him as saying that a Russian deployment was only a “matter of time”. Clinton refers to a conversation that he and the head of the Kremlin had in Davos twelve years ago.

At this meeting, Putin severely criticized the Budapest memorandum, which was negotiated by Clinton and former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, among others, and is intended to protect Ukraine’s sovereignty. “Vladimir Putin told me in 2011, three years before the annexation of Crimea, that he would not support the deal and was not bound by it. From that day on I knew it would only be a matter of time” (an which Russia is doing something, ed.).

The Budpester Memorandum was negotiated in 1994. At that time, Ukraine was the third largest nuclear power in the world. Involuntarily, however, because the weapons of mass destruction came from the days of the defunct Soviet Union. Nuclear missiles were also stationed in the former Soviet republics and now independent states of Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Therefore, representatives of the new countries met with those of Russia, Great Britain and the USA in the Hungarian capital to regulate the handling of nuclear weapons. In the agreement, it was decided that Russia would receive all nuclear bombs and missiles and in return would recognize the sovereignty of the three states. Security guarantees were also given for them in the memorandum.

The annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea by Russia in 2014 is considered a clear breach of the treaty. Bill Clinton only commented on this in early April and said in an interview that he “feels awful” about it because he shared responsibility for convincing Ukraine at the time to give up its nuclear weapons. “Nobody believes that Russia would have pulled off this stunt if Ukraine still had their weapons,” the ex-US President told Irish television.

Sources: DPA, Financial Times (Paid Offer),, The Guardian