Russia to position nuclear weapons close to Belarus’ borders with NATO By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A member of the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service retains watch on the Senkivka checkpoint close to the border with Belarus and Russia within the Chernihiv area, Ukraine February 16, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

(Reuters) – Russia will transfer its tactical nuclear weapons near the western borders of Belarus, the Russian envoy to Minsk mentioned on Sunday, inserting them at NATO’s threshold in a transfer prone to additional escalate Moscow’s standoff with the West.

In one of many Russia’s most pronounced nuclear indicators for the reason that starting of its invasion of Ukraine 13 months in the past, President Vladimir Putin mentioned on March 26 that Russia will station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.

The 2 Slav neighbours are formally a part of a “union state” and have been in talks for years to combine additional, a course of that has accelerated after Minsk allowed Moscow to make use of Belarusian territory to ship troops into Ukraine final yr.

The weapons “might be moved to the western border of our union state and can enhance the probabilities to make sure safety,” Russian ambassador to Belarus, Boris Gryzlov, advised Belarusian state tv.

“This might be carried out regardless of the noise in Europe and the USA.”

Gryzlov didn’t specify the place the weapons might be stationed, however confirmed {that a} storage facility might be accomplished, as ordered by Putin, by July 1 after which moved to the west of Belarus.

Belarus borders to the north with Lithuania and Latvia and to west with Poland, all a part of NATO’s Japanese flank that has been bolstered with extra troops and navy gear following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The U.S. and Kyiv’s different allies have mentioned they had been involved in regards to the risk that Russia would ship tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, with President Joe Biden saying it was “worrisome.”

President Alexander Lukashenko mentioned on Friday that Belarus would additionally permit Russia to place intercontinental nuclear missiles there too if needed.

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