The Ukrainian nationalist party UNA-UNSO, known for sending armed volunteers to fight on the post-Soviet space, has announced in its elections program that Ukraine needs nuclear weapons. “In order to do something we need leverage as a state. We need to demand the restoration of the nuclear status of our country,” said Valery Bobrovich, chief of the headquarters of the Ukrainian Nationalist Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense. The politician added that Ukraine has no future without nuclear weapons. In addition, a return to nuclear status would boost the Ukrainian economy, Bobrovich said. “The military industrial complex is not just cannons, but also tens of thousands of jobs,” he told reporters. At the time of the Soviet Union’s collapse, Ukraine possessed the third-largest nuclear arsenal in the world. However, Ukraine gave up its nuclear arsenal in exchange for recognition of its independence and security guarantees by leading nuclear powers.
The agreement was sealed in 1994 in the Budapest Memorandum and the removal of nuclear weapons from Ukrainian territory was fully completed in 1996 (the warheads were sent to Russia, where they were dismantled and reutilized).