Russia is set to deploy its tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, expanding its scope of strategic influence, and increasing its deterrence power in face of the US and NATO’s exceeding military support for Ukraine.
Speaking to the state broadcaster Russia 1 on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the new agreement with its neighboring ally, saying that Russia would build a special storage facility for its tactical weapons in Belarus, the construction of which would end by the beginning of July.
Putin also said that the upcoming deployment would not breach the non-proliferation agreements, and noted that the US had its nuclear weapons stationed in Europe for decades.
“There is nothing unusual here, either: firstly, the United States has been doing this for decades. They have long deployed their tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of their allied countries,” Putin said
“We agreed that we will do the same – without violating our obligations, I emphasize, without violating our international obligations on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons,” he added.
Moscow would not be transferring control of its arms to Minsk, he added.
The decision comes amid rising tensions between Moscow and Washington, with Russia attempting to send a strong warning to Western powers over their continuous military support for Ukraine, which according to Russia is fanning the flames of conflict.