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Belarus: First Russian nuclear weapons stationed according to Lukashenko

Belarus: First Russian nuclear weapons stationed according to Lukashenko

According to Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian leader, Russia has started transferring nuclear weapons to Belarus. Russian President Vladimir Putin is following his announcement in March.

According to the Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko, Russia has started stationing tactical nuclear weapons in the neighboring country. Lukashenko confirmed this on Thursday in Moscow after a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. The number of weapons and storage locations were also determined. Lukashenko did not give any details. “I’m not going to talk about the number and the deployment,” he said.

Putin made concrete decisions and signed a corresponding decree, the Belarusian ruler added. Verbal agreements were thus sealed. According to earlier information, the weapons are to be stationed on the border with Poland. Russia has been waging a war of aggression against Ukraine for more than 15 months and has repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons.

Control of nuclear weapons should be with Russia

Earlier, the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had declared at a contract signing in Minsk that the control and decision on the use of nuclear weapons lay exclusively with Moscow. Defense Minister Viktor Chrenin signed for Belarus. He gave the reason for the stationing: “Today, the “collective” West is exerting unprecedented pressure in all areas of national security on both Belarus and Russia.” Putin also justified the stationing with the fact that the United States has had nuclear weapons in Europe for years, including in Germany.

Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin announced the stationing of tactical nuclear weapons in the neighboring country at the end of March. At the time, he said in a television interview that he had agreed with Lukashenko that Russia and Belarus would now “do the same” as the US on the territory of their allies. In April, Belarusian soldiers had already begun training on nuclear-capable missile systems. According to Putin, ten aircraft that can be equipped with nuclear weapons have now been delivered to Belarus, and a special weapons depot should also be completed by early July.

Western states had condemned the announcement – also because Putin himself had repeatedly spoken about the possibility of using nuclear weapons since the Russian offensive in Ukraine began. However, according to their own statements, experts and Western government representatives do not assume that the transfer of tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus will change the course of the Ukraine conflict. Tactical nuclear weapons can cause devastating damage if used, but have a shorter range than so-called long-range strategic weapons.

Belarus, which has been ruled by Lukashenko since 1994, not only borders Russia and Ukraine, but also EU member states Poland and Lithuania. Lukashenko had allowed the Russian army to launch the offensive against Ukraine from Belarusian territory.

Belarusian opposition leader Tichanovskaya wrote on Twitter that the deployment of nuclear weapons would “not only endanger the lives of the Belarusians, but also create a new danger for Ukraine and all of Europe.” The citizens of Belarus would thus be “hostage to the imperial plans of Russia”. Most of the deployed tactical nuclear weapons have the same explosive power as the atomic bomb that “killed 140,000 people in Hiroshima”.

Belarus once voluntarily surrendered its nuclear weapons

After voluntarily surrendering its nuclear weapons after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Belarus is now receiving nuclear missiles for the first time since the 1990s. To this end, Lukashenko had the constitution amended so that a nuclear-weapon-free status is no longer stipulated. Belarusian soldiers have already been trained in Russia to use Iskander missiles, which can carry nuclear warheads. Several Belarusian fighter jets have also been converted to the new weapons.

Lukashenko has been in Moscow since Wednesday. After speculation about his health, he smiled contentedly on state television. On Tuesday he said he had contracted a virus. Because of the many appointments, he had no time to heal. “But I don’t intend to die, folks. You’ll be dealing with me for a long time,” said the 68-year-old. Lukashenko, considered Europe’s last dictator, has been in power for more than a quarter of a century.

Source: Stern

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