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The Budapest Accords – America’s direct commitment to Ukraine – Jack Partridge

by John J “Jack” Partridge, contributing writer

You may be surprised that my column today isn’t directly about an ‘only in Rhode Island’ topic. But maybe it is. I received this information from an Army buddy back from my days in Vietnam who stays up on topics that quite frankly I do not, and he wanted me to be aware of the important issue back from 1994 when the United States entered into an agreement with Ukraine and other European powers, including Russia and the UK, to respect the independence and integrity and existing borders of Ukraine, and to refrain from the threat or use of force against that country.

Clearly the Kremlin has been in violation of that agreement; but just because Moscow is wrong in its violation of its commitment does not mean our pledge has been negated. My friend asks what part of a commitment to “respect the independence” and to refrain from “the threat of, or use of force do the Russians not understand? Importantly, this is a commitment that the US made outside of NATO; it is a direct commitment to Ukraine when we asked Ukraine to give up its nuclear weapons, which it did promptly.

While I feel we have given appropriate defensive capabilities to Ukraine and I respect the president’s decision not to send in our troops, he seems to be hiding behind the NATO reluctance to engage Russia in Ukraine through the use of airplanes and simply ignores the pledge made in 1994. I could not find a single reference to this commitment made by the president. He makes it seem as though whatever he wants to do he could only do through NATO, and that does not seem to be the case.

As requested by my friend, I have contacted Senator Reed’s office for comment because of the respect his colleagues have for him as chair of the Senate Committee on Defense, with the suggestion that he contact the White House about informing Americans about our commitment to Ukraine, and also ask the White House to inform the American public about our commitment from 1994.

Let’s see what happens as more and more Americans become aware of our sacred obligations to Ukraine outside of NATO.

(Photo: US Dept. of State, Ukraine Independence Day)


John J. ‘Jack’ Partridge, is a lawyer and Senior Counsel to the firm of Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP, with four offices in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

A Pawtucket native, Jack graduates from St. Raphael Academy and summa cum laude of Providence College, where he majored in history. After Harvard Law School, he served in the United States Army in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal. In 1967, he joined the firm of Tillinghast Collins & Tanner. In 1988, he became a founding partner of Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP.

Jack has been engaged in many civic, political, governmental, and business organizations, serving as legal counsel to the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce for 27 years and was chairman of the Old Slater Mill Association, Common Cause Rhode Island, and Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island.

He is the co-founder of The Pawtucket Foundation and an officer and director of innumerable not-for-profit entities. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club and was Treasurer of the Ocean State Charities Trust.

Jack has a long history of leadership involvement with Providence College, which recognized him in 1999 with the Providence College Alumni Association Recognition Award for Public and Community Service, and in 2011, with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

He is married to the former Regina McDonald and has three children: Sarah, Gregory and David.

He is the author of four books – Scratched, Straight Pool, Carom Shot – and his new book, Under Blood Moons.

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