Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Photo/REUTERS
MINSK – President Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday (31/3/2023) that Russia “if necessary” could place intercontinental nuclear missiles in Belarus as well.
The statement came because Moscow has decided to place tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of its ally. Belarus shares about 1,084 km of border with Ukraine.
In an annual address to lawmakers and government officials, Lukashenko said Moscow’s plan to place nuclear weapons on Belarusian territory would help protect the country, which he said was under threat from the West.
“I am not trying to intimidate or blackmail anyone. I want to protect the Belarusian nation and ensure peace for the Belarusian people,” Lukashenko said.
Lukashenko said, “Belarus has enough conventional weapons to counter threats, but if we see that behind (threats) lies the destruction of our country, we will use everything we have.”
“If necessary, Putin and I will decide and bring in strategic weapons, if necessary,” he said.
Although Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday the tactical missile would remain under Moscow’s control, Lukashenko suggested he could use it with Russia’s approval if Belarus was threatened with destruction.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to defeat Russia on Friday while speaking with European leaders in Bucha.
The statement comes one year after Moscow troops withdrew from the Ukrainian city synonymous with war crimes accusations.
“The battle for the foundations of the free world is taking place on Ukrainian soil. We will definitely win. The evil Russia will fall, here in Ukraine and will not be able to rise again,” Zelensky said, according to journalists there.
Zelensky was accompanied by the President of Moldova Maia Sandu and the prime ministers of Croatia, Slovenia and Slovakia.
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