By Anthony Marcus, for Eurasia Business News – June 25, 2022

An Iskander-M missile complex.

The Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia will supply Belarus with Iskander-M missile systems.

Mr Putin held a meeting with the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko today in Saint Petersburg :

“As we agreed with you – you raised the issue of this – the decision was made. Over the coming months, we will transfer to Belarus iskander-M missile and tactical systems, which can use both ballistic and cruise missiles, both in conventional and nuclear versions.”

Vladimir Putin “proposed to instruct the defense ministers and chiefs of the general staff to work out all the details related to this joint work.”

The “Iskander-M” missile systems was developed in the Kolomna Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering (holding “High-Precision Complexes”). In the version for the Russian army, the complex includes two types of missiles: ballistic and cruise.

Officially, the flight range of the iskander-M complex is up to 500 km. It was reported that the missiles of the complex can carry a nuclear warhead. The missile complex is currently in service with the missile brigades of the Ground Forces of the Russian Federation. “Iskander-M” replaced the missile system “Tochka-U”.

On August 2, 2019, the United States officially withdrew the Treaty on Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF). Signed on December 8, 1987 by the Soviet Union and the United States, this Treaty required the destruction of the Parties’ ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers, their launchers and associated support structures and support equipment within three years after the Treaty enters into force.

Read also : How will Russia respond to Western sanctions ?

The treaty marked the first time the superpowers had agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals, eliminate an entire category of nuclear weapons, and employ extensive on-site inspections for verification. In October 2018, the President Trump announced his will to “terminate” the INF Treaty, citing Russian noncompliance and concerns about China’s intermediate-range missile arsenal.

Before the withdrawal of the United States, Washington accused Russia of violating the treaty. The U.S. part had claimed the range of the Russian cruise missile of the Iskander-M complex violated the INF Treaty. Moscow has repeatedly stressed that the range of Iskander-M missiles did not violate the INF Treaty.

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