MOSCOW: Russia has struck a deal with neighbouring Belarus to station tactical nuclear weapons on its territory, Tass news agency quoted President Vladimir Putin as saying on Saturday.
Such a move would not violate nuclear nonproliferation agreements, Putin said, adding that the United States had stationed nuclear weapons on the territory of European allies.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has long raised the issue of stationing tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, which borders Poland, Putin said.
“We agreed with Lukashenko that we would place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus without violating the nonproliferation regime,” Tass quoted Putin as saying.
Russia will have completed the construction of a storage facility for tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus by July 1, Putin said, adding that Russia would not actually be transferring control of the arms to Minsk.
Russia has already stationed 10 aircraft in Belarus capable of carrying tactical nuclear weapons, he said.
Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2023
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