Russia May Move Strategic Nukes to Belarus with Tactical Ones

March 31, 2023

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Friday that Russia may move strategic nuclear weapons to Belarus along with tactical nukes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a deal this past weekend with Lukashenko to move tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus. Putin also said that Russia had already moved 10 aircraft to Belarus, which shares a border with Ukraine, that are capable of carrying tactical nuclear weapons.

Strategic nuclear weapons could include missile-borne warheads that Lukashenko mentioned during a state-of-the nation address. 

Belarus had been a staging ground for amassing Russian troops before the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Belarus and Russia have intensified their cooperation since the start of the war, with the Russian military using its troops and missiles stationed in Belarus, although no Belarusian troops have participated in the fighting so far.

Putin ratcheted up the nuclear rhetoric this past February around the one-year mark of the invasion. After President Biden had paid a surprise visit to Ukraine around that time, Putin announced that he was suspending participation in the 2010 New START nuclear arms limitation treaty. 

Quickly after Putin’s statement, however, the Foreign Ministry said Russia would continue to exchange information about ballistic missile test launches, as per earlier agreements with the United States. And this Thursday Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it would continue to give the U.S. advance notice about its missile tests, as per earlier agreements.

PHOTO: Victory square in Minsk, Belarus

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