President Vladimir Putin announces that Russia will start deploying tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus July 7, 2023. Photo/Sputnik/Pavel Bednyakov/Kremlin via REUTERS
MOSCOW – President Vladimir Putin on Friday announced Russia will start deploying nuclear weapons tactical service to Belarus after special storage facilities were set up on 7 and 8 July 2023.
It would be Moscow’s first step in deploying such weapons outside of Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Putin said in March that he had agreed to deploy tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus. He argued that his steps followed the United States’ deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in a number of European countries for decades.
“Everything is going according to plan,” Putin told Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, discussing the planned deployment of nuclear weapons over a meal in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Lukashenko previously claimed that Russia’s deployment of nuclear weapons to Belarus had already begun without detailing the evidence.
“Preparations of the relevant facilities ended on July 7-8, and we will immediately start activities related to the deployment of appropriate types of weapons on your territory,” Putin continued, according to a transcript of the Kremlin statement. .
Lukashenko responded: “Thank you, Vladimir Vladimirovich.”
More than 15 months into Europe’s biggest land war since World War II, Putin said the United States and its Western allies were pumping weapons into Ukraine as part of a widening proxy war aimed at bringing Russia to its knees.
Putin views the war in Ukraine as a battle for Russia’s own survival in the face of what he says is a growing NATO. He has warned the West that Moscow will not back down.