Conflicts & War

Nato ‘closely monitoring’ arrival of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus

Brussels, Jun 16 (EFE).- Nato is closely monitoring the situation in Belarus, secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said Friday, after Russia confirmed that tactical nuclear weapons had been delivered to its ally.

“We take it seriously when Russia has announced they will deploy nuclear weapons to Belarus,” Stoltenberg said at the conclusion of a two-day defense ministers’ summit in Brussels.

“We have seen some preparations going on. We will monitor closely what they are doing and we will remain vigilant,” he said.

Stoltenberg added that despite the developments in Belarus, the Atlantic alliance had not seen “any changes in the Russian nuclear posture, deployments, which requires any changes in our posture.”

He said the delivery, which Russian president Vladimir Putin confirmed on Friday, was part of its “reckless nuclear rhetoric” that Nato had seen over “many years”, pointing out that Moscow had sent nuclear weapons close to the alliance’s borders in the past.

“Of course we will do what is necessary, we will remain vigilant and we will closely monitor changes in Russia’s nuclear posture. But so far, no changes that requires any changes in our nuclear posture,” Stoltenberg said.

In addition to the threat from Russia, the secretary-general also said Iran and North Korea were continuing “their nuclear and missile development programmes”, adding that he condemned the nuclear missile tests Pyongyang launched on Thursday, which he called a “clear violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions.”

Stoltenberg also said Nato was working to set up a bilateral council with Ukraine to discuss “security issues of mutual concern” where Kyiv would be “equal” to allied members.

“Our ambition is to have the first meeting of the new Council in Vilnius” in July, with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy. EFE


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