Belarus to receive Russian tactical nuclear weapons amid Ukraine conflict

Belarus is set to receive Russian tactical nuclear weapons in the coming days, as announced by President Alexander Lukashenko. The deployment comes shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the weapons would be stationed in Belarus on July 7-8.

Lukashenko expressed his readiness to host the arms and emphasised that he would not hesitate to use them in response to potential aggressors. “Why do we need them? To make sure not a single foreign soldier sets their foot on the Belarusian land again,” he said. “God forbid that I have to make a decision to use these weapons. But there will be no hesitation in the event of an aggression against us.”

This marks the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union that Moscow has moved warheads outside of the country. Putin has portrayed the war in Ukraine as a struggle between Russia’s safety and the expanding NATO alliance, accusing the West of supplying weapons to Ukraine in a proxy war with Moscow. In March, Putin announced the decision to move the weapons to Belarus, using the deployment of US weapons in European countries as justification.

The United States has condemned the plan but maintains that it has no intention of altering its stance on strategic nuclear weapons. The US also has not observed any indications that Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Lukashenko also mentioned that Minsk is working to ensure Belarusian facilities can accommodate longer-range strategic weapons. However, there is no urgent need for them since Moscow has not yet discussed supplying the weapons. “What do I need strategic [missiles] like the Topols for? Although we are now preparing sites for these weapons as well. They [the Soviet-era sites] are all alive and well, except for one. So if we need to, we can at any moment [house them],” Belta cited Lukashenko as saying.

“But the Topol is an intercontinental missile. Am I planning to go to war with America? No. that’s why this [tactical nuclear weapons] are enough for me now,” he added.

The conflict in Ukraine has resulted in the most strained relationship between Russia and the US since the Cold War, as both nations acknowledge.

World News

Matthew Coles

Matthew is a British journalist with a unique flair in reporting about the latest news and events happening in Europe. Matthew focuses on producing well-researched, balanced, and narrative-driven content related to both national and regional interests across various European countries. He is passionate about discovering the diverse cultures found within Europe and showcasing them through his insightful articles.

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