Nations willing to join the Union State of Russia and Belarus will be provided with nuclear weapons, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has promised
“That’s all. There will be nuclear weapons for everyone,” he said in a Sunday interview with the state-run Russia 1 channel.
The Union State of Russia and Belarus is a supranational entity whose founding was ratified by both countries’ parliaments in 2000. The alliance promotes cooperation in economic, agriculture, technology, and border security matters.
On Thursday, the Belarusian autocrat announced that Russia will transfer some of its nuclear weapons into Belarus’s territory. Belarus transferred all its nuclear weapons to Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union.
The move sparked condemnations from the EU and US, with US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller calling it “irresponsible behavior,” though he said there were no current indications that Russia plans on using the weapons.
Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, tweeted that Lukashenko’s statements indicate that Russia is looking to end global nuclear deterrence and undermine the Global Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which forbids Russia from transferring nuclear weapons to other countries.
The “nuclear” statements of Lukashenko (the nominal ruler of Belarus and a VIP-propagandist of the war) directly indicate that the Russian Federation is deliberately “killing” the concept of global nuclear deterrence and “burying” the key Global Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of…
— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) May 28, 2023
Last year, shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, a referendum was staged in Belarus that removed a constitutional prohibition that forbade the presence of nuclear warheads in Belarusian territory.
Already in March, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that nuclear weapons would be placed in Belarus, saying that “the United States has been doing this for decades. They have long deployed their tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of their allied countries.”
In February, Putin suspended Russia’s participation in the New START nuclear treaty.