Putin announces an agreement to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus
Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced an agreement with Belarus for the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of that country, which shares a border with Ukraine.
“We do not give them up. The United States does not cede them to its allies either. In principle, we do the same thing that they did for decades”, he assured public television.
Putin has stressed that this agreement does not violate existing disarmament treaties and that on July 1 the construction of a silo to place said weapons in the neighboring country will have been completed.
He has acknowledged that the trigger for the announcement was the decision of the United Kingdom to supply the Ukrainian army with ammunition with depleted uranium, although London assures that it is not a nuclear weapon.
Although, straight away, Putin recalled that the Belarusian president, Alexandr Lukashenko, had long ago requested the deployment of this type of weapon on the soil of the former Soviet republic.
Ukraine has accused Minsk on numerous occasions of being an accomplice in the current military campaign, although Lukashenko hides behind NATO’s militarization of its borders.
“Another escalation of the conflict”
The high representative of Foreign Policy of the European Union (EU), Josep Borrell, stated this Saturday that the deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus represents “another escalation of the conflict”.
In an interview with EFE in Santo Domingo, where he is participating in the Ibero-American Summit, Borrell said that the deployment announced today by Russian President Vladimir Putin is also “another sign of the collaboration of the dictatorial regime of Belarus with Russia.” “It shows that we are right when we take action against the Belarusian regime,” when sanctions are adopted, he added.
Borrell added that today is the International Day of Solidarity with Belarus, which has been taking place since the “fraudulent” elections, noting that there are more than 1,500 political prisoners there. “Belarus is a society in the grip of a regime completely captive of its alliance with Moscow and the deployment of tactical weapons in Belarus only increases this degree of dependence on this regime that the EU has already sanctioned and combats by supporting Belarusian forces” which they fight in front of him, he added.
“Russia has what to respond with”
The Russian leader has acknowledged that the British ammunition is not considered a weapon of mass destruction, but it is a “most dangerous” weapon, especially because it creates a radioactive cloud after impact.
“I must say that Russia, of course, has what to respond with. Without exaggeration, we have hundreds of thousands, hundreds of thousands of those shells. We have not used them yet ”, she pointed out.
In turn, he has warned that Western weapons will only prolong the conflict, which “will only lead to a great tragedy, nothing more.”
Putin already warned on Tuesday that Moscow will be forced to react if Ukraine uses weapons with a “nuclear component.”
The United Kingdom’s Undersecretary for Defense, Anabell Goldie, responded on Monday on the website of the British Parliament to a question from Lord Hylton, a member of the House of Lords, about the possibility of sending these projectiles to Ukraine.
“In addition to sending a squadron of Challenger 2 tanks to the Ukraine, we will supply DU shells,” Goldie said, noting that they are more effective at killing armor.
The British Ministry of Defense accused Russia yesterday of “misinforming” for saying that depleted uranium ammunition has a “nuclear component.”
A spokesman for this ministry pointed out that “the British Army has used depleted uranium in its armor-piercing projectiles for decades” and “it is a standard component and has nothing to do with nuclear weapons or capabilities.”