Jesse Watters reveals how Bill Clinton laid the groundwork for current Russia-Ukraine tensions

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Jesse Watters said Bill Clinton laid the groundwork for the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine Monday on “The Five

Watters pointed to 1994, only three years after the fall of the Soviet Union, when President Clinton heralded an agreement forged with Kyiv that would eliminate nuclear weapons left on Ukrainian soil by the Soviets.

“How did we get here? Bill Clinton forced the Ukrainians in the early 1990s to give their nukes back to Russia,” Watters recalled. “If he had just let the Ukrainians keep the nukes, Russia wouldn’t have gone in — You don’t invade a nuclear power.” 

“So, I expect a formal apology by Bubba,” he quipped, using a noted 90s nickname for President Clinton.

Clinton, an Arkansas Democrat, called the accord struck between Russia, Ukraine and NATO members “a hopeful and historic breakthrough that enhances the security of all three participants.”

The agreement prescribed the United States, United Kingdom and Russia to provide security assurances in exchange for its arsenal. Clinton reportedly offered at least $175 million to fund the dismantling of the weapons at the time.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) looks at U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) before the start of their second meeting June 4 in Catherine's Hall in the Kremlin. WM

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) looks at U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) before the start of their second meeting June 4 in Catherine’s Hall in the Kremlin. WM

At the time, nationalist factions in Ukraine’s Parliament presented serious opposition to the deal, with the Los Angeles Times describing Ukraine as “politically and economically unstable since it became an independent state” and home to 176 ICBMs, which reportedly housed more than 1,000 warheads then aimed at the United States.

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President Clinton greets Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma at Mariinskiy Palace in Kiev June 6. Clinton will return to Washington after his visit in Kiev. WM

President Clinton greets Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma at Mariinskiy Palace in Kiev June 6. Clinton will return to Washington after his visit in Kiev. WM

On “The Five,” Watters said Clinton forced Ukraine to give up its protective arsenal and therefore left them “sitting ducks for [Vladimir] Putin” – who took power a few years later in the 1999 elections.

Watters added that Western Europe has also helped strengthen Putin’s hand, given that their “green” push has left them more dependent on Russian energy as they discard or dismiss their own resource speculation.

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He further warned that Democrats will latch on to the predicted spike in oil prices past $4 per gallon and ensuing inflation and bear market on Wall Street if Putin fully invades – choosing to once again conveniently “blame Russia” as a means to obfuscate the truth about their party and their policies to the American public once again.

Presidents Biden and Putin

Presidents Biden and Putin
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images |   Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)

Putin previously invaded Ukraine’s eastern Crimea region during the Obama administration, and this week declared two more eastern regions – Luhansk and Donetsk – independent of Kyiv.

Later, host Dana Perino added that many of Biden’s predecessors could indeed have “done more along the way to counter Putin.”

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