If Ukraine had its own nuclear arsenal, it could be talking with other states on equal grounds. The press department of the President's Office reported that on February 1, citing Zelensky's interview with HBO's TV show Axios.
"I understand that nuclear weaponry is a bad thing. But if Ukraine had nuclear weapons now, if we didn't do such a huge mistake - and in current conditions, I guess it was a mistake, indeed - there would be no invasion, and we would have our territories (Donbas and Crimea, - 112 International). We could be talking on equal grounds with the Russian Federation and the entire world", Zelensky said.
At that, the president added that he was not going to give this country its nuclear status back. According to him, it would be a wrong thing to do now. We've got to be solving the conflict on the diplomatic level, he said.
Answering the question of whether Ukraine feels betrayed in terms of the West's failure to observe the Budapest memorandum, Zelensky said: "In general, I guess it's a betrayal against Ukraine. I believe it's a huge mistake because all sorts of diplomatic agreements since the Budapest memorandum was failed are "nullified". Whatever we sign next, whatever the countries agree on, there always will be a risk that someone says it's just a piece of paper and there's no need to live up to it. That is, in the 21st century, there are still medieval traditions when a mere force acts instead of the force of agreements. Let's put it this way: whoever has more firepower writes the Constitution of your country. This situation hurts one's feelings. Ukraine experienced a few of such situations", Zelensky said.
In December 1994, the-then President Leonid Kuchma visited the OSCE summit to sign the international treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear arms, with Russia, Great Britain and the United States also putting their signatures under the bill. It became known as the Budapest memorandum. The document provided a number of security guarantees for Ukraine, including the provision about respect for this country's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.