MINSK, October 11. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko voiced his support to Russian President Vladimir Putin in the latter’s appeal to world leaders to declare a moratorium on the deployment of intermediate- and shorter-range missiles in Europe, Lukashenko said at a summit in Ashgabat on Friday.
“Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin], we fully support you in this issue. We will draft and send you back a reply letter to the statement, which you have sent across the world,” Lukashenko said cited by the BelTA news agency.
“We should take it seriously. These are not just problems of Russia which makes attempts to somehow restore the status quo and to maintain control over particularly dangerous weapons,” Lukashenko added. “We must not allow these missiles to appear in Europe,” the Belarusian president stressed.
In September, Putin was reported to have forwarded a proposal to the leaders of several countries, including NATO member states, to declare a moratorium on deploying intermediate- and shorter-range missiles in Europe and other regions. The Russian leader had sent similar messages to some non-NATO states, including China.
On August 2, Washington formally exited the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987. It applied to deployed and non-deployed ground-based missiles of intermediate range (1,000-5,000 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers). Washington repeatedly accused Russia of violating the accord, but Moscow vehemently dismissed all accusations and, in its turn, expressed grievances over Washington’s non-compliance.
Following Washington’s pullout, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that the Treaty had been terminated at the initiative of the United States.