To counter NATO, Belarus set to host Russian nuclear weapons
The Belarusian Foreign Ministry confirms that the hosting of Russian tactical nuclear weapons is in response to NATO's military buildup near its borders.
Belarus on Tuesday confirmed it will host Russian tactical nuclear weapons, confirming that the decision comes in response to years of Western pressure, including sanctions. The Foreign Ministry statement also cited the military-build up by NATO member states near its borders.
This is the first official Belarusian statement confirming the approval of the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus since Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement on the matter on Saturday.
The Belarusian Ministry said the move will offer the country protection from the United States and its allies, who continue to exert pressure on Lukashenko’s government.
“Over the past two and a half years, the Republic of Belarus has been subjected to unprecedented political, economic, and informational pressure from the United States, Great Britain, and their NATO allies, as well as the member states of the European Union," the statement read.
The Ministry further explained that the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons and the development of Belarusian technology does not violate the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The move only entails the deployment of the weapons albeit under the full control of Russia and does not warrant the transfer of these weapons to Minsk, according to the statement.
Furthermore, the Ministry revealed that the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons has been common practice in NATO countries, with estimates suggesting that the US has deployed approximately 150 tactical bombs in strategic positions across Europe.
The Belarusian Ministry urged the conflicting parties to find common ground through “constructive and mutually respectful dialogue aimed at strengthening… multilateral mechanisms for disarmament, non-proliferation, and arms control..."
It is worth noting that Putin announced on March 25 that Russia will station some of its tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus and has already deployed 10 nuclear-capable aircraft in the neighboring country, as reported by TASS.
Russia's leader added 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.
And although the Pentagon and NATO maintained that there are no indications that Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons, Kiev from rushing to call for an emergency meeting of the UN's security council.
Putin's decision comes as a response to the relentless armament of Western countries to Ukraine, specifically after the UK supplied and trained Ukrainian forces on the use of depleted uranium ammunition, despite their effects on health, mainly recording soars in birth defects and cancer diseases in the shelled areas.