Ukraine’s independence from Russia was pivotal to the U.S. winning the Cold War (“Eyes on Ukraine,” March 21). In 1994, the U.S., the U.K., and Russia concluded the Budapest Memorandum pledging to protect Ukraine’s sovereignty in exchange for Ukraine surrendering its nuclear arsenal to Russia. Twenty years later, Russia invaded the Crimea region of Ukraine, overthrew its elected government, imposed an illicit referendum rejected by at least 40 percent of Crimea’s residents, including its indigenous inhabitants, and absorbed the Ukrainian territory.
Russia’s predatory action against Ukraine threatens not only Europe’s security. It also constitutes the first territorial expansion of a U.N. Security Council member by means of an invasion of another U.N. member state since World War II. Russia’s blatant violation of the Budapest Memorandum and other international obligations also jeopardizes U.S. credibility and our ability to pursue nuclear nonproliferation.