Minsk to set 'algorithm' for nuclear use in response to foreign attack
The Belarusian President says his country will use nuclear weapons when it is necessary, in the event of any foreign aggression.
Belarus will establish a framework for the use of tactical nuclear weapons in response to any external aggression on the country, President Alexander Lukashenko said during a ceremony on Tuesday to present shoulder boards to senior military officers, state news agency BelTA reported.
Responding to a question on how Belarus will use its tactical nuclear weapons, which were previously deployed by Russia on condition that Moscow will remain in control of the atomic weapons, Lukashenko considered the weapons do not necessarily have to be in the country for them to be used to protect Belarus.
“If we take a deeper look at it, listen, do I need scrap in some storage facility? Well, these tactical weapons could be left in Russia. If necessary, we could transport them for another 500km for firing. Or an aircraft could be launched from Russia. And so on and so forth.”
“No one has ever fought against a nuclear power. The key task right now… [Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, First Deputy Defense Minister of Belarus Viktor] Gulevich is present here, by the way. He, the minister, and the KGB chairman have been instructed to determine the algorithm for using these weapons. The key is our ability to use it at time of need when we are attacked. Which means when the Union State [of Belarus and Russia] is attacked as people in Russia have already learned how to say,” the President said.
“But it is not the point. Let's assume (it is just an assumption) that we can use it upon Russia's authorization. These are idle speculations: we are being used and the rest. They are nonsense. It cannot be like that. These are our weapons and we will use them [when it is necessary],” Lukashenko stated.
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.
The Russian leader explained then that this move will be similar to the United States' deployment of some of its nuclear arsenal in Europe, further noting that Russia's action does not violate the nuclear nonproliferation agreements (NPT).
Lukashenko stressed that while Russia's storage facilities are in great condition, Belarus has even higher-quality facilities.
“I don't need scrap here. And it is simply ridiculous to bring weapons and deploy them. For what? For storage purposes? Russians have excellent storage facilities. General [Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor] Khrenin and his people have been there and have seen these storage facilities. But ours are better. Specialists came and compared them to an operating room!”
Earlier this month, Putin announced that Russia delivered the first set of nuclear warheads to Belarus.
Putin said during an address at the economic forum in St. Petersburg in mid-June that Russian nuclear weapons deployed in Belarus are of deterrent nature for those oblivious in the West who assume they can inflict on Russia a strategic defeat.
"Nuclear weapons have been made to ensure our security in the broadest sense of the word and the existence of the Russian state, but we...have no such need [to use them]," Putin said.
"Just talking about this (the potential use of nuclear weapons) lowers the nuclear threshold. We have more than NATO countries and they want to reduce our numbers. Sc*** them."