(MENAFN- AzerNews) Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko said Thursday that Russia
had begun moving nuclear weapons to its western neighbor and ally,
after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced plans to transfer
them in March, Azernews reports citing Al Arabiya.
There were no new comments from Russia on bringing the nuclear
weapons to Belarus.
“The transfer of nuclear munitions has begun,” Lukashenko said
told reporters during a visit to Moscow.
Lukashenko has allowed his territory -- which borders Ukraine as
well as EU and NATO members Poland and Lithuania -- to serve as a
launching pad for Russia's Ukraine offensive.
In March, Putin announced he would station tactical -- or
short-range -- nuclear weapons to the territory of Belarus, drawing
condemnation from the West.
Lukashenko said Putin had informed him on Wednesday that he had
signed a decree on the transfer.
Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya on Thursday
said the move would“not only endanger the lives of Belarusians but
also create a new threat against Ukraine and all of Europe.”
“It will make Belarusians hostages to Russian imperial
ambitions,” Tikhanovskaya added.
Tactical nuclear arms are battlefield weapons that, while
devastating, have a smaller yield compared to long-range strategic
Putin's announcement had spurred fears of nuclear conflict, but
experts and governments said it was unlikely that the move would
change the course of the conflict.
Belarusian troops began training on nuclear-capable Russian
missile systems in April.
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