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Opinions & Interviews

30 Sep 2019

Belarus’ decision to stick to INF Treaty praised

Belarus’ decision to stick to INF Treaty praised
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MINSK, 30 September (BelTA) – Belarus’ decision voiced by President Aleksandr Lukashenko in early September to stay committed to the main provisions of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) is of fundamental importance. It may encourage other countries to act accordingly, BelTA learned from the founder and director of the Minsk Dialogue Council on International Relations Yauheni Preiherman.

The expert said: “It was stated that we unilaterally undertake to observe the provisions of the INF Treaty and call upon other countries to follow the policy and even adopt the declaration. These concrete actions, which make the situation safer here and now, create stimuli for the behavior of other countries. It is of fundamental importance.”

The expert pointed out that Belarus had previously put forward initiatives involving a large number of parties, which views on security often fail to coincide. For instance, initiatives on resolving the situation in Ukraine, on resuming the Helsinki Process. “Belarus encourages everyone to be friends and think about ways to institutionalize this friendship,” he explained. “But the initiative put forward in early September is absolutely different. It doesn’t just encourage certain steps.” Belarus’ actions can incentivize other countries to stop talking about security and take concrete measures.

“If this step meets favorable response from other countries and some additional initiatives on the part of Belarus in the future, then instead of simply talking that we need to wait for the world situation to change and the balance of power to be restored, we will be able to come to terms on new rules of the game,” the expert is convinced.

“I don’t know whether it was noticeable in mass media, but the response from the diplomatic community to this initiative was not simply positive, but extremely positive,” he summed up.

BelTA reported earlier that in his speech during the international conference held in Minsk on 3 September to discuss fight against terrorism Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Belarus had been a full party to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty: “We didn’t withdraw from the treaty. We don’t intend to make or deploy such missiles if there is no threat to our security. There is none for now. I hope there will be none.”

“I am convinced that a declaration by responsible countries against placing medium-range and shorter-range missiles in Europe could be a genuine contribution to stronger security. We are not idealists and can see all the difficulties this initiative may encounter in conditions of the existing contradictions. But in the past both the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and global prohibitions against other kinds of weapons of mass destruction also seemed impossible,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

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