Russia will deploy some of its tactical nuke arsenal in Belarus: Putin
Russia's President says the United States has been deploying its nuclear weapons in its ally countries for decades.
Russia has struck a deal with neighboring Belarus to station tactical nuclear weapons on its territory, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday, pledging that his country will not violate non-proliferation agreements.
Russia will station some of its tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus and has already deployed 10 nuclear-capable aircraft in the neighboring country, TASS said on Saturday citing Putin.
Russia's leader announced that by July 1, Russia will complete the construction of a facility in Belarus to store the tactical nuclear arms, but the control of the weapons will not be transferred to Minsk, he maintained.
Putin stated that this move will be similar to the United States deployment of some of its nuclear arsenal in Europe, adding that Moscow's measures do not violate the nuclear nonproliferation agreements (NPT).
"There is nothing unusual here either: firstly, the United States has been doing this for decades. They have long deployed their tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of their allies, NATO countries, in Europe for a long time. They are [presented] in six countries, if my memory serves, Germany, Turkey, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, and Greece. Greece does not have it right now, but it has a storage facility," Russia's leader said.
"We agreed that we will do the same - without violating our obligations, I emphasize, without violating our international obligations on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons."
Putin emphasized that Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has requested for a long time that Moscow take this step, adding that his Belarusian counterpart said that the US openly and without being held accountable deployed tactical nuclear weapons in allied countries and trained their forces to "to operate this type of weapons, if necessary."
"We agreed with Lukashenko that we would place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus without violating the nonproliferation regime," Putin said, adding that nuclear-capable Iskandar tactical missiles have already been transferred to Russia's ally.
In September 2022, the Belarusian Foreign Minister confirmed that Minsk's steps in the field of nuclear weapons will depend on the West's threats to both Belarus and Russia.
In response to a question about the possibility of Russian nuclear weapons being deployed in Belarus, Vladimir Makei said, "In this regard, our presidents have been talking for some time about the fact that certain types of aircraft will be modernized and equipped with appropriate means of transporting nuclear weapons."
"If (our) Western (partners) take such steps, we will, of course, develop appropriate response measures with Russia," he added then.
In October 2022, the head of the KGB in Belarus revealed, based on intelligence information, that the decision-makers in the West will not accept losing the Ukraine war. Lt. Gen. Ivan Tertel warned that there is "possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons or using those groups that are created for direct aggression against our country and against our allies is being discussed."