With Russia having withdrawn from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), Ukraine has declared it can now develop missiles of its own in that range without violating any legal agreements. This development will for sure anger Moscow.
“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. Ukraine retains the right to develop military weapons as necessary for defense capabilities of our country, including the relevant missile weapons,” Ukraine’s foreign minister said in a statement on Thursday, following a meeting between Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and the country’s national security and defense council, reported Newsweek.
“Ukraine and its U.S. partners condemn the development and tests of Russia’s RS-26 Rubezh ballistic missile, which has an effective range of nearly 2,200 kilometers, as well as the upgrading of the combat capabilities of the Iskander-M operational-tactical missile complex, particularly through the modernization of the system’s cruise missiles,” the statement continued. “The Iskander-M was spotted during military exercises in Ukraine’s Russian occupied territory of Crimea.”
The conflict in the Donbass region of East Ukraine continues to smolder with deaths on either side a common occurrence. The Minsk peace process is stalled. A recent defector to Ukraine from the separatist areas declared Russia is developing an invasion plan for Ukraine with 100,000 troops. This information has not been publicly confirmed and could be suspect.