President Vladimir Putin said Russia delivered its first tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, three months after announcing the plan that threatens to escalate tensions with the United States and its allies over the war in Ukraine.
“The first nuclear charges were delivered to the territory of Belarus. But only the first,” Vladimir Putin said on Friday at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. “It’s the first part. But by the end of the summer, by the end of the year, we will finish this work.”
President Putin says Russia will place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus
Vladimir Putin announced in March that Russia would base tactical nuclear weapons on its ally’s territory. He insisted Russia was meeting its non-proliferation obligations by retaining arms control despite training Belarusian troops in “the storage and use of special tactical ammunition”.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko hinted in an interview broadcast on Wednesday that the weapons had already arrived in his country, although Mr Putin had previously said delivery would not begin until next month.
Asked at the forum about the potential use of nuclear weapons, President Putin said that would only happen if there was a threat to the Russian state. He saw no such necessity now, he added.
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