Ukraine had to renounce nuclear weapons complying with the demands of Western countries, former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk told the country’s 24 TV.
According to Kravchuk, Ukraine had to destroy its nuclear arsenal under the threat of US sanctions.
"We were presented with a challenge - either we lay down our nuclear weapons, or they will put economic pressure on us, including sanctions," the former president is quoted as saying by TASS.
Kravchuk stressed that Western countries did not want to lose control of nuclear weapons and therefore exerted economic pressure on Ukraine. He added that he had no regrets about his consent to destroy his country’s nuclear arsenal.
After the break-up of the USSR, Ukraine had an impressive nuclear capability. However, its nuclear arsenal was destroyed in 1994 after it joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Kravchuk earlier said that Ukraine would resemble "a monkey with a grenade," it if did not give up nuclear weapons.