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In 2011, I understood that Putin's attack on Ukraine was just a matter of time – Former US president Clinton

Friday, 5 May 2023, 13:28

Former US President Bill Clinton has said that he understood the inevitability of Russian President Vladimir Putin's attack on Ukraine as early as 2011.

Source: Financial Times, citing Bill Clinton

Details: As the former White House leader said, after a chilling meeting with Putin in Davos, Switzerland, he realised that a Russian attack on Ukraine was "only a matter of time".

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Clinton recalls that during this meeting Putin rejected the Budapest Memorandum agreed by his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, with US mediation, which stipulated respect for Ukraine's territory in exchange for Kyiv’s renunciation of its nuclear arsenal.

Quote: "Vladimir Putin told me in 2011 — three years before he took Crimea — that he did not agree with the agreement I made with Boris Yeltsin. He said . . . ‘I don’t agree with it. And I do not support it. And I am not bound by it.’ And I knew from that day forward it [Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine – ed.] was just a matter of time," he said.

Background:

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  • In April, Clinton said he regretted his role in the nuclear disarmament of Ukraine in the 1990s.
  • In January 1994, Clinton signed a trilateral agreement with the then presidents of Russia, Boris Yeltsin, and Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk, on eliminating the arsenal of strategic nuclear weapons that remained on Ukrainian territory after the collapse of the USSR.
  • In December of the same year, the United States also joined the Budapest Memorandum, which stipulated Russia's obligation to respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine. 

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