Putin To Place Tactical Nuclear Weapons In Belarus After UK Supplies Ukraine With Depleted Uranium Weapons

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that Russian tactical nuclear weapons could arrive in Belarus as early as this summer. While Minsk has repeatedly requested that these weapons be stationed on its territory, Russia is finishing up the construction of a dedicated storage facility for them, he said.

The facility in Belarus, Putin said Russia 24 TV, will be ready by July 1. Russia will only send its own arms to Belarus, according to the country's president, and Moscow has no intention of transferring control of any of its tactical nuclear weapons to Minsk. He did not give a date for when the weapons would be moved to the new location.


Putin said the decision to act was driven by the United Kingdom's plan to supply Kiev with depleted uranium weapons. A shipment of rounds for use in Ukraine's Challenger 2 battle tanks was announced by the UK at the beginning of March. Russian officials called the move an example of "total recklessness, irresponsibility, and impunity" on the part of the United Kingdom and the United States.

Depleted uranium shells, the United States said, are a "commonplace type of munition" that have "been in use for decades," putting to rest Russia's fears. After NATO used such weapons in Iraq, the Russian Defense Ministry issued a warning that their deployment in Ukraine would cause a radiological catastrophe.

President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus has highlighted concerns about the dangers posed to his country by American nuclear weapons stationed in European Union member states on multiple occasions. He warned that Poland, which borders Belarus, would get nuclear weapons in October 2022, citing "nuclear sharing" talks between Washington and Warsaw.

Lukashenko said at the time that Minsk needed to take "necessary measures" to confront this threat, adding that he would discuss the topic with Moscow.

Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey all host American nuclear weapons right now. As part of its security proposals in 2021, Russia demanded the return of the weapons, but the United States and NATO both flatly rejected.

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