Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin signed documents Thursday allowing Russian tactical nuclear weapons to be deployed on Belarusian territory. Russia will maintain control of the weapons in Belarus.
Shoigu and Khrenin emphasised that the collective West is “escalating threats” against them and that NATO’s military presence and activities have become more aggressive, especially in Ukraine. Lukashenko hinted that the nuclear weapons may be in Belarus before the scheduled date of deployment, after attending a meeting of the Eurasian Economic Union.
The tactical nuclear weapons are of a lower-yield for ground use and the number of nuclear weapons stored in Belarus has not been disclosed. According to Russian state media, TASS, Moscow has already provided Belarus with missile crew training, missile systems carrying nuclear weapons and military aircraft. The European Union (EU) released a statement condemning the agreement.
Belarus and Russia continue to state that this plan is for state protection against NATO’s escalating violence.