Russia started to deliver nuclear weapons to Belarus, a country bordering Ukraine to the north, according to Reuters.
On 14 June 2023, Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko announced that Belarus started taking delivery of Russian tactical nuclear weapons, Reuters reported. In his interview with a Russian state-run TV channel Rossiya-1, which was published by the Belarusian state-owned news agency Belta, Lukashenko said that some nuclear weapons Russia delivered to Belarus were three times more powerful than the atomic bombs the US dropped on Japan’s cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
“We have missiles and bombs that we received from Russia. I have asked Putin to deliver those for a long time,” Lukashenko said in the interview.
On 9 June 2023, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said that Russia planned to start deploying nuclear weapons to Belarus as soon as special storage facilities to house tactical nukes were ready in Belarus, Reuters reported.
Thus, Belarus and Russia violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The Soviet Union joined the NPT in 1968 (obligations and rights now assumed by Russia). Belarus joined the NPT on 23 May 1992 with Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Only four countries worldwide have not joined the NPT, namely India, Israel, Pakistan, and South Sudan.
The NPT is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy, and achieve nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.
The deployment of the shorter-range, less powerful nuclear weapons is Moscow’s first move of nuclear warheads outside Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Reuters reported.
- Russia and Belarus take steps to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus, no immediate deployment expected – ISW
- US gives Ukraine equipment to deal with nuclear attacks, NYT says
- The role of the Union State of Russia and Belarus in the Russo-Ukrainian war
- Kremlin keeps trying nuclear threats to deter Western arms supplies to Ukraine – ISW
- Britain announces new sanctions against Belarus for aiding Russian aggression
- Poland suspends freight traffic registered in Belarus and Russia