Moscow, June 9 (EFE).- President Vladimir Putin Friday said Russia would deploy tactical nuclear weapons in neighboring Belarus on July 8.
“Everything is going according to plan,” Putin told Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko during a meeting at his summer residence in the Sochi resort near the Black Sea.
Putin said the facilities will be ready on July 7-8 and “we will immediately start the deployment.”
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and his Belarusian counterpart Viktor Khrenin signed documents in Minsk last month regulating the storage of 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 was in response to the “aggressive policy” of “hostile” Western countries.
Shoigu stressed that while Russia was deploying non-strategic nuclear weapons in Belarus, Moscow would retain control over their potential use.
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