Monday, February 09, 2015

What treaty obligation, Senator Cruz?

If Ted Cruz is going to claim that the U.S. has a "treaty obligation" to arm the Ukrainian government and/or intervene more directly to fight the Russian-backed rebels for them, he really should identify what treaty he is talking about. The most likely candidate is the Budapest Memorandum, although that isn't technically a treaty. Also, while I think Russia clearly violated that Memorandum when it seized Crimea, and then violated it again by backing the rebels in Eastern Ukraine, I don't see anything in the text of the Memorandum that requires the U.S. to intervene militarily if Russia violates its terms. (As I said last year, I do think there is a semi-serious argument that Ukraine is entitled to get its nukes back from Russia, although there obviously is zero chance of that happening)

So either Cruz is grossly misreading the Budapest Memorandum, or he is referring to some other treaty about Ukraine that I can't find. Or he doesn't know what the fuck he is talking about. We can't rule that out either.

(via Memeorandum)