Russia avoids confirming the transfer of nuclear charges to Belarus
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday that Russia had already begun sending tactical nuclear charges to its territory. The Kremlin spokesman discussed the announcement by his ally with reporters on Friday, but refused to confirm whether it was true.
Dimitri Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin's press secretary, explained that Belarus is in a hostile environment and that Moscow is helping it.
"Russia and Belarus find themselves in a hostile environment," says Peskov
"We have heard increasingly aggressive statements against Belarus, from its neighboring states. We have also heard official statements stating the intention to interfere in the internal affairs of Belarus," Peskov said.
"That allows us to conclude that Belarus, like us, is in a hostile environment." For this reason, he noted, further development of allied relations between Russia and Belarus is required, "which involve different areas", including the development of relations in the military sphere. "It is what we are doing," summed up the representative of the Russian president in his daily telephone press conference.
Asked to confirm or deny the start of the transfer of tactical nuclear charges to Belarus, he replied: "I have said what I have said on this subject."
The nuclear arsenal will remain under Moscow control
This Thursday, May 25, Russia and Belarus signed an agreement in Minsk to formalize the deployment of Russian tactical nuclear missiles in Belarus, as Putin announced last March. The Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, who signed several documents along with his Belarusian counterpart, Viktor Jrenin, justified this measure due to the "threats" on the western borders of both countries.
The decision to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus "was taken to apply countermeasures in the military-nuclear sphere against the background of an extremely strong escalation of threats on the western borders of Russia and Belarus," the Russian minister said.
Hours later, Lukashenko affirmed that the transfer to his country of Russian tactical nuclear charges had already begun. Asked if there were already Russian nuclear weapons on Russian soil, he said: "It is possible."
Lukashenko refuses to specify the number of nuclear warheads that his country will receive
The Belarusian president refused to specify the number of nuclear warheads that his country will receive, although he assured that he had agreed with Putin all the details. "I am not going to reveal the number and its location. We have agreed to the deployment of nuclear weapons," he said.
Russia plans to build a depot for these weapons before July 1.
Although they are stationed in Belarus, Shoigu stressed that Russia does not deliver these weapons to its allied country. They will remain under the responsibility, control and decision-making of Russia, Shoigu said.
In addition to the aforementioned nuclear weapons store, Russia has provided the Belarusian army with an Iskander-M missile system, which can use nuclear ammunition, and the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system. In addition, it has re-equipped Belarusian Su-25 fighter jets to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
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