According to the news agency TASS, Russia sent 10 planes capable of delivering tactical nuclear bombs to Belarus on Saturday. The deployment of a nuclear weapon in Belarus, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, will not breach nuclear non-proliferation agreements.
“We agreed with Lukashenko that we would place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus without violating the nonproliferation regime,” Tass quoted Putin as saying.
According to Putin, US nuclear weapons are also present on the soil of European partners. The president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, brought up the idea of keeping tactical nuclear weapons in his country, which borders Poland, he said.
Russia will have completed the construction of a storage facility for tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus by July 1 and the control of arms will not be transferred to Minsk, Putin added.
Tactical nuclear weapons were placed in Belarus at the same time that the US slapped new sanctions on President Alexander Lukashenko’s government for continuing to back Russia’s conflict in Ukraine. Also targeted by the sanctions is Lukashenko’s repression of the pro-democracy movement.
The recently enacted sanctions targeted important Belarusian producers as well as Mr. Lukashenko’s personal gains. It was specifically acknowledged that Mr. Lukashenko, who had previously been subject to personal sanctions, was the owner of his luxurious Boeing 737 aircraft, which he uses for trips with his family and friends.