Following the withdrawal of Russia and the US from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Ukraine intends to develop new missile weaponry, announced Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at a session of the Cherkasy regional development council, Ukrinform reports.
“Russia has de facto violated the INF Treaty, and the US has legally withdrawn from it, and we have also been relieved of certain obligations which we complied with previously. We are no longer bound by any restrictions with respect to the flight range of our missiles,” the Ukrainian president said.
Poroshenko stressed that Kyiv does not intend to “repeat the errors of the Budapest Memorandum”. This agreement, signed on 5 December 1994 by the leaders of Ukraine, the US, Russia and the UK, guaranteed Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and in exchange, Ukraine had to sign the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty and dispose of its Soviet-era nuclear weapons.
“We need high-precision missile weapons with an increased range in order to destroy targets deep in the enemy’s rear. This will make the aggressor more restrained, and our defense more reliable. For me, the safety of Ukrainians is of utmost importance,” Poroshenko remarked.
Earlier in March, Poroshenko said that Kyiv is “understanding” of the US’s decision to withdraw from the INF Treaty. “We consider this decision justified in response to the current security situation, both on the European continent and in the world at large,” said Poroshenko, explaining Kyiv’s stance.
In December 2018, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak announced that Kyiv intends to equip its army with domestically produced precision weaponry in the near future.