Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced that his nation will not think twice before using Russian nuclear weapons if Belarus came under attack.
Lukashenko’s brazen remarks contradicted earlier pronouncements by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who claimed that Russian nuclear weapons would be sent to Belarus next month and emphasized that they would remain under Moscow’s exclusive control.
Putin’s plan to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus
Putin made the announcement about the deployment of short-range nuclear missiles to Belarus, a neighbor and ally of Moscow, earlier this year, and it was widely interpreted as a threat to the West as it increased military backing for Ukraine.
During his meeting with Lukashenko on Friday, Putin announced that they would finish the facilities for the weapons by July 7–8 and deploy them to Belarusian territory as soon as possible after that.
The deployment of Russian nuclear weapons is “ready,” according to Lukashenko, who added that “it could take just a few days for us to get what we had asked for and even a little more.”
Later, when asked if Belarus had actually received some of the weaponry by a host on Russian state television, Lukashenko coyly said, “Not all of them, little by little.”
He stated that the Russian nuclear weapons being sent to Belarus are three times more potent than the American atomic bombs that detonated on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. “We have the missiles and bombs from Russia,” he stated.
God forbid I had to decide to use those weapons today, but if we confront an aggression, there would be no hesitation, said President Lukashenko in remarks made earlier on Tuesday and made public by his administration.
Later on Tuesday, he emphasized consulting Putin before using any of the weapons, as reported by Russian official TV.
Lukashenko’s influence and role in the nuclear weapons deployment
He said, “Listen, do you think I’ll look around if a war breaks out?” Lukashenko remarked of Putin, “I pick up the phone, and wherever he is, he picks it up. “If he calls, I answer it whenever. Coordination of a strike is not a difficulty at all.
Officials from Russia did not immediately respond to Lukashenko’s comments.
It was Lukashenko who pushed Putin to send Russian nuclear weapons to Belarus, he repeated. He stated that they needed to take action to prevent a prospective attack.
No one, according to Lukashenko, “would be willing to fight a country that has those weapons.” “Those are deterrent weapons.”
The goal of tactical nuclear weapons is to eliminate enemy forces and equipment on the battlefield. Shorter-range nuclear warheads have less destructive capability compared to intercontinental ballistic missile-mounted warheads which are capable of destroying entire cities..
Lukashenko’s stance on nuclear weapons in Belarus
According to Lukashenko, Belarus didn’t require the stationing of Russian strategic nuclear weapons on its soil. Am I prepared to battle America? No, he replied.
However, he said that Belarus was also preparing its infrastructure for intercontinental nuclear-tipped missiles, just in case.
When they were all part of the Soviet Union, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine held portions of the Soviet nuclear arsenal. After the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia received these weapons as part of a U.S.-sponsored agreement.
Russia did not disclose the number of tactical nuclear weapons it would supply to Belarus. Experts estimate Russia has 2,000+ tactical nuclear weapons, including bombs deployable by planes, short-range missiles, and artillery
Russia sent troops into Ukraine from Belarus on February 24, 2022 and has continued to maintain forces and weaponry there. According to Lukashenko, Belarus would increase the amount of unguided missiles it produces for various rocket launchers.
Since the election in 2020, which kept him in office but was widely perceived as rigged both domestically and internationally, Lukashenko, who has been in power for 29 years, has depended on Russian political and economic support to withstand months of protests, mass arrests, and Western sanctions.