President Lukashenko said that the tactical nuclear weapons Russia deployed in Belarus will never be used but that the country still needs them.
In a speech on June 30, President Alexander Lukashenko said that he was the one who launched the initiative to deploy Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. “We are increasingly convinced that it is necessary to place them in Belarus, a reliable place,” Lukashenko said.
“We will never have to use tactical nuclear weapons as long as they are in Belarus and no enemy dares to set foot in our country,” Lukashenko said.
President Lukashenko said if “the enemy screams, makes a fuss because he wants to stop you from doing something, do the opposite.” “If they scream that nuclear weapons are bad, do the opposite,” Lukashenko said.
President Lukashenko has repeatedly accused the West of seeking to destroy Belarus and asserted that the tactical nuclear weapons deployed by Russia in the country “are necessary to deter aggressors.”
Lukashenko announced on June 14 that Belarus had received tactical nuclear weapons from Russia. President Vladimir Putin confirmed the information two days later and said that this is the plan’s first phase, which is expected to end in the fall or end of this year.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov on June 30 affirmed that the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus does not violate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons because Russia still controls them. The treaty allows countries to deploy nuclear weapons outside of their territory, but they must be controlled by the state that owns them.
Russia and Belarus on May 25 signed an agreement on the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons. Russia unveiled combat vehicles carrying the weapon in April, including a Belarusian strike with the ability to carry this weapon and the Iskander-M tactical ballistic missile.
The US and the European Union (EU) condemned the agreement, saying it dangerously escalated tensions in the region. The US described Russia’s plan as “provocative and irresponsible” but said it had no reason to adjust its policy of placing tactical nuclear weapons in allied countries.
Tactical nuclear weapons are small nuclear warheads that are used to achieve specific tactical benefits on the battlefield rather than causing widespread destruction like an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or nuclear bomb.
They usually have a small, destructive power designed to attack the enemy’s command posts, bases, and concentration points on the front lines. Tactical nuclear weapons must not be used to destroy cities or defense industrial facilities far from the battlefield.