Online Briefing "Decoding the Budapest Memorandum: The 1994 Accord, Ukraine’s Non-Proliferation Path, and Current Tensions"

Atomic Reporters, together with the Odessa Center for Nonproliferation (OdCNP), and in cooperation with the Swedish Radiation Authority (SSM), conducted an online discussion – Decoding the Budapest Memorandum: The 1994 Accord, Ukraine’s Non-Proliferation Path, and Current Tensions on Thursday, 27 January 2022.

Signed in Budapest on 5 December 1994, the Budapest Memorandum, or the Memorandum on Security Assurances in Connection with Ukraine's Accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), committed Russia, the UK, and the US to “respect the independence and sovereignty and existing borders of Ukraine” and to “refrain from the threat or use of force”. In turn, Ukraine gave up the third largest (at that time) nuclear weapons arsenal inherited after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and acceded to the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon state.

The panelists addressed the history of Ukraine’s nuclear disarmament, the Budapest Memorandum and its significance for the nuclear non-proliferation regime, as well as its relevance to current tensions between Russia and NATO.


  • Dr. Polina Sinovets:is the Director of the Odessa Center for Nonproliferation and an associate professor in the international relations department at the Odessa I.I. Mechnykov National University.
  • Dr. Mariana Budjeryn: is a research associate with the Project on Managing the Atom (MTA) at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center.
  • Dr. Nikolai Sokov: is a senior fellow at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation. He previously worked at the Soviet and Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, participating in the START I and START II negotiations.


Tariq Rauf: is a board member of Atomic Reporters; he is former Head of the Verification and Security Policy Office, Alternate Head of the IAEA NPT Delegation, reporting to the Director General, at the IAEA in Vienna.