Countries seeking nuclear weapons should join union state: Lukashenko
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said any countries that want nuclear weapons to join Russia and Ukraine's Union State.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko invited Sunday the countries wishing to acquire nuclear weapons to join Russia and Belarus' Union State.
This comes after Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev underlined the disparities in integration within the Eurasian Economic Union, highlighting how Russia and Belarus shared nuclear weapons within the Union State.
Astana does not intend or plan to create or join any union state, the Kazakh president's press service clarified on Friday.
"Well, if someone is worried ... I do not think that Tokayev is worried about this ... But if so, nobody objects to Kazakhstan and other countries enjoying the same close relations as we have with the Russian Federation," Lukashenko underlined.
"It is very simple: join the union of Belarus and Russia and that's it, and there will be nuclear weapons for all," he added.
Lukashenko's words, the president himself underlined, reflects his personal opinion rather than that of Russia.
"But I think it's possible. We have to strategically understand that we have a unique chance to unite," he added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in late March that Russian tactical nuclear weapons would be placed in Belarus, with the storage sites for weapons expected to be finished by July 1.
Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia had clarified late in March that Russia was not violating its non-proliferation commitments by deploying tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.
Washington denounced the plan at the time, with the EU threatening Belarus with sanctions, although the Pentagon and NATO noted that there are no indications that Russia is preparing to use any nuclear weapons.
Belarus previously confirmed that the decision comes in response to years of Western pressure, including sanctions, as well as the military-build up by NATO member states near its borders.
Moreover, the recent talks about the issue come after Moscow and Minsk on Thursday signed documents outlining Russia's non-strategic nuclear weapons maintenance routine.
According to the Belarusian defense ministry, "During a meeting, [the sides] signed documents defining the procedure for maintaining Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons in a special storage facility on the territory of Belarus," adding that the deployment is a response against unfriendly countries.
Putin previously underlined that Minsk would not be given control of any nuclear weapons in Belarus.