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‘No Limitations’ on Ukraine’s Missile Force: Poroshenko

Kyiv says the collapse of a landmark Cold War arms-control pact gives it a free hand to develop new ballistic missiles.

14 March 2019

Ukraine is now free to develop new missiles in the wake of Russia’s withdrawal from the INF arms-control treaty, President Petro Poroshenko has said.

 

Moscow announced on 4 March it would suspend compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty in response to the same step by the United States. President Donald Trump said Washington intends to withdraw completely from the landmark treaty in six months, accusing Russia of repeatedly violating the 30-year-old pact.

 

Missiles. Image via Times Asi/Flickr.

 

For Ukraine, Moscow’s move means that “We are no longer bound by any limitations either on the range of our missiles or on their power,” Poroshenko said on 9 March, Unian reports.

 

“Let the enemy know about it, too. We need high-precision missiles and we are not going to repeat the mistakes of the Budapest memorandum," he added in a reference to the 1994 agreement which led to Ukraine dismantling its large Soviet-era nuclear arsenal.

 

Ukraine and the United States have condemned Russian testing of ballistic missiles in Russian-controlled Crimea, Emerging Europe reports.

 

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said Russia’s actions were in breach of the INF treaty and posed a serious military threat to Europe.

 

 

  • The INF treaty prohibits ground-launched missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,000 kilometers. By 1990, the United States and Soviet Union had verifiably destroyed about 2,700 intermediate-range missiles, nuclear disarmament expert Mariana Budjeryn of Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies wrote last month in The Washington Post.

 

  • Ukraine could gain “some deterrent capability” from a ballistic missile with a range of 500 to 1,200 kilometers targeting Russian military command centers, bases, or other critical sites, if it had the resolve faced with Russia’s far more powerful missile systems or its air and missile defenses, Budjeryn wrote.
Compiled by Ky Krauthamer
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