Ukraine’s Nuclear Disarmament: 25 Years After the Budapest Memorandum

Dec. 6, 2019, 8:30am-5:30pm (registration required by Dec. 3)
The Charles Hotel, Bennett St., Cambridge, MA

Join the Harvard Belfer Center's Project on Managing the Atom for a day-long conference marking the 25th anniversary of the Budapest Memorandum on security assurances to Ukraine in connection with its accession to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapons state. The conference, which is co-sponsored by the Center for US-Ukrainian Relations (CUSUC) and the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute (HURI) will take place at the Charles Hotel on Friday, December 6th, 2019. 

In December 1994, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Russian Federation pledged security assurances to Ukraine in connection with its accession to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear-weapons state. The signature of the so-called Budapest Memorandum concluded arduous negotiations that resulted in Ukraine’s surrender of its nuclear arsenal, the world’s third-largest, which the country inherited from the collapsed Soviet Union. The signatories of the memorandum pledged to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and inviolability of its borders, and to refrain from the use or threat of military force. After Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and aggression in eastern Ukraine, the meaning and value of security commitments pledged to Ukraine in 1994 has become a contentious and hotly debated issue.

This one-day conference aims to revisit the history of the Budapest Memorandum; consider the repercussions of its violation for international security and the broader nonproliferation regime; and draw lessons for the future. The conference brings together academics, practitioners, and experts who have contributed to developing US policy toward post-Soviet nuclear disarmament, participated in the negotiations of the Budapest Memorandum, and dealt with the repercussions of its breach in 2014.

RSVP is required. The deadline to register is Tuesday, December 3rd.


Graham Allison, Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School

Mariana Budjeryn, research fellow, Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs

Matthew Bunn, professor of practice, Harvard Kennedy School

Ash Carter, director, Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs

Thomas Graham, former acting director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency

Susan Koch, senior fellow, National Defense University

Steven Pifer, William J. Perry Fellow, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University

Mary Sarotte, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Distinguished Professor of Historical Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Yuriy Sergeyev, senior fellow, Yale University and former Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations

Ihor Smeshko, former head of the Security Service of Ukraine

Nikolai Sokov, senior fellow, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies

Borys Tarasyuk, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

James Timbie, Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution

William H. Tobey, senior fellow, Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs