MFA: Ukraine reserves the right to develop missile weapons after Russia withdraws from INF Treaty
Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) says Ukraine reserves the right to develop own missile weapons after Russia has withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty).
"Ukraine retains the right to develop military weapons as necessary for defense capabilities of our country, including the relevant missile weapons," the ministry said in a statement on March 7.
"As far as the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has never ratified the mentioned Treaty, Ukraine has been fully implementing the INF, in fact on the voluntary basis. In this regard, a breach of the Treaty by the Russian Federation, as its full-fledged party, is especially outrageous," it said.
"The potential military pressure of the Russian Federation on European members of NATO due to the withdrawal from the Treaty, aimed at establishing total control by Moscow over the broader region from Baltic to the Mediterranean Sea, poses a serious threat to the whole European continent," it said.
Ukraine together with the American partners condemned the development and testing by the Russian Federation of ballistic missile RS-26 «Rubezh» with range of nearly 2,200 km, as well as extension of combat capabilities of Tactical Operational Missile Complex «Iskander-M», in particular through modernization of cruise missiles, which are its integral part. «Іskander-М» was identified during military exercises in the occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently signed an order to withdraw from the INF Treaty, which once was a symbol of the end of the arms race and the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States.