NATO: Russian Nuclear Rhetoric is Dangerous and Irresponsible. PHOTO/Reuters
BRUSSELS – NATO denounce Russia for its “dangerous and irresponsible” nuclear rhetoric. This criticism came one day after the President Vladimir Putin said Russia would place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.
“NATO is on high alert, and we are monitoring the situation closely. We have not seen any changes in Russia’s nuclear posture that would make us adapt,” a NATO spokesman said.
“Russia’s reference to NATO’s nuclear sharing is completely misleading. NATO’s allies act in full respect of their international commitments. Russia has consistently violated its arms control commitments, most recently suspending its participation in the New START Treaty,” the statement continued.
The day before, Russia said it had reached an agreement with neighboring Belarus to place tactical nuclear weapons on its territory. This was stated by the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin.
Putin made the announcement on Saturday, as tensions grow with the West over the Ukraine war and as some Russian commentators speculate about the possibility of a nuclear strike.
“The deal with Belarus will not violate the nuclear non-proliferation treaty,” Putin said, as quoted by Al Jazeera. He added that the United States (US) has been placing nuclear weapons on the territory of its European allies for decades.
“We agreed that we will do the same – without violating our obligations, I emphasize, without violating our international obligations on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons,” Putin said.
Putin told state television that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had long raised the issue of deploying tactical nuclear weapons in his country, which borders Nato member Poland.
“Russia will complete construction of a tactical nuclear weapons storage facility in Belarus by July 1,” Putin said. He also added that Russia would not actually transfer control of arms to Minsk.
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