Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced on Thursday (25) the beginning of the transfer of nuclear weapons from Russia to the neighboring country.
“It was necessary to prepare and have the storage sites and so on. We did all that. So the nuclear weapons movement started,” he told Sputnik Belarus.
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According to the leader, this process takes place within the framework of agreements with Moscow on the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. Lukashenko promised to clarify later whether such weapons already exist in the republic.
Defense Ministers of Russia and Belarus, Serguei Shoigu and Viktor Khrenin, signed documents in Minsk on Thursday (25) on the procedure for placing Russian weapons in a special storage facility on Belarusian territory.
On March 25, Vladimir Putin announced that Russia, at the request of the Belarusian side, would deploy its tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of the country, noting that the US has also been practicing this for a long time on the territory of its allies.
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At the time, the Ukrainian authorities stated that currently Belarus assumes a role of “nuclear hostage” of Moscow. According to the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov, Putin’s announcement could lead to destabilization of the situation in Belarus and “increase to the maximum the level of negative perception” of Russia and Putin in Belarusian society.
As part of the deal, Moscow has already handed Minsk the Iskander missile system, which can carry nuclear weapons, and has helped to re-equip Belarusian aircraft for this type of weapon.
Editing: Nicolau Soares
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