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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

West: No Special Deal for Kiev

BUDAPEST -- Ukraine, insisting on security guarantees in return for giving up nuclear arms, will get no special commitments from the major powers when it formally renounces its nuclear status next week, diplomats say.


Ukraine will sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty on the margins of a European security summit in Budapest on Monday and Ukrainian political leaders claim they have won security guarantees from major powers in exchange.


The deal, which includes Western promises of badly needed aid for Ukraine, will end a long-running dispute over what Kiev should do with nuclear weapons left on its soil after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.


Russia, the United States, France and Britain -- four of the world's five declared nuclear powers -- will sign a memorandum on Ukrainian security Monday at the summit.


But diplomats said it will not contain new guarantees to protect Kiev from aggression and has no binding legal status. "Ukraine wanted a special deal and what they will get is a special piece of paper which they can sell at home," said one diplomat involved in the negotiations with Kiev.


"There is nothing in it that goes beyond standard international commitments already in force. Kiev knows that." Diplomats said it would have been impossible to give Ukraine formal NATO-style security guarantees, since the Western powers have refused to extend such assurances to any country outside the 16-nation Western alliance.


What Ukraine gets by signing the treaty as a non-nuclear state is a commitment which will be repeated in the four-power memorandum being signed in Budapest.


The treaty, designed to prevent the worldwide spread of nuclear arms, says any non-nuclear state which is attacked with nuclear weapons will have its case taken up by the UN Security Council.


It also pledges nuclear powers will not use such weapons in attacks on non-nuclear states.