Lukashenko says Russian tactical nuclear weapons headed to Belarus
Moscow, May 25 (EFE).- Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko said Thursday that Russian tactical nuclear weapons were being transferred to the country, which shares a border with Ukraine.
“We had to prepare the place for their storage,” Lukashenko told Russian state television. “That is why the transfer of nuclear charges has already begun,” after Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree approving the transfer.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and his Belarusian counterpart Viktor Khrenin, meanwhile, signed documents in Minsk regulating the storage of the Russian tactical nuclear weapons on Belarusian territory.
Khrenin said the deployment of non-strategic nuclear weapons in Belarus and the build-up of the potential of the two countries’ troop grouping is in response to the “aggressive policy” of “hostile” Western countries.
Shoigu stressed that while Russia is deploying non-strategic nuclear weapons in Belarus, Moscow will retain control over their potential use.
“Russia does not transfer nuclear weapons to the Republic of Belarus: control over them and the decision to use them remains with the Russian side,” he emphasized.
In March, Putin announced an agreement with Lukashenko over the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.
The next month, the Belarusian Army received training in Russia on the use of special tactical ammunition for Iskander-M missiles.
Later in April, Russia announced the completion of training of Belarusian forces to operate Su-25 attack aircraft, which were equipped to carry tactical nuclear weapons.
Lukashenko allowed Russian troops to invade Ukraine from Belarus as the Kremlin launched its “special military operation” in February 2022. EFE