Russian Intelligence Chief Says Intel Showed Ukraine Was Working on Nukes, US Knew About It
16:16 GMT 03.03.2022 (Updated: 17:10 GMT 03.03.2022)
© Sputnik / Maxim BlinovThe head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergei Naryshkin
© Sputnik / Maxim Blinov/
Previously, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky threatened to withdraw Ukraine from the Budapest Agreement, under which the newly independent Ukraine gave up the nuclear arsenal that it inherited from the USSR in exchange for security guarantees.
The head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergei Naryshkin, has stated that the SVR had obtained intelligence showing that Ukraine was working on building its own nuclear weapons. Naryshkin stressed that President Volodymyr Zelensky's threats to abandon the Budapest Agreement were "not an empty promise".
Naryshkin noted that Ukraine has preserved technical potential to create nuclear armaments and that this is higher than those of Iran and North Korea.
"Not only did [Russia] know about this, but the Americans also did. At the same time, not only did they not interfere in their plans, but [they] were also ready, as they say, to lend a helping hand to the Ukrainians, apparently hoping that Ukrainian nukes would be aimed not to the west, but to the east".
The Russian intelligence chief further slammed the inaction of EU countries, who failed to take any action following Zelensky's threats at the Munich Security Conference to withdraw his country from the Budapest Agreement – a 1994 accord under which newly independent Ukraine gave up the nuclear arsenal that it had inherited from the USSR and vowed to stay non-nuclear.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier said that Moscow could not allow weapons that would threaten Russia to be deployed on Ukrainian territory. President Vladimir Putin on 24 February ordered to launch a special operation of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine to demilitarise and "denazify" the country.