President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, at the press conference in Minsk, advised Ukraine not to think about deploying medium and short-range missiles on its territory after the collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) between the United States and Russia.
“Now they began to disseminate the idea of medium and short-range missiles in Ukraine. Let alone that the Poles are begging:let us have them [the missiles]. It is obvious that Romania and Poland have installations for launching target missiles. The moment a nuclear warhead is placed on the missile, consider it deployed. The Poles want it to be even more widespread, and they have already started talking about Ukraine, “said Lukashenko.
According to him, such a move could be disastrous for Ukraine.
“If such missiles are deployed in Ukraine, it will be a catastrophe. You know, we must understand that the Russians cannot allow these missiles to be placed there. We will stand united with the Russians. Therefore, in no case should Ukraine take these steps as this could turn into a catastrophe for the statehood of Ukraine, "said President of Belarus.
General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Central Committee, Mikhail Gorbachev, and the United States President, Ronald Reagan, signed the INF Treaty in 1987. Medium and short-range missiles pose the greatest threat to the world, since they can reach targets within a few minutes and leave no chance to prepare for the strike and repel the attack.
In February 2019, this treaty was suspended due to the Russian 9M729 missile, capable of hitting targets more than 500 kilometers away. In December 2018, the United States threatened to withdraw from the agreement if Russia did not return to the fulfillment of its contractual obligations within 60 days. At the end of two months deadline, Washington suspended the U.S. participation in the INF Treaty.
The next day, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, announced Moscow’s "mirror response" and instructed the Russian Foreign Ministry and the country's defense ministry to stop further attempts to initiate negotiations on this agreement.
On February 20, Putin declared his readiness to target medium and shorter-range missiles at the United States and the European Union countries.