Press "Enter" to skip to content

Belarus defends nuclear linkup with Russia, blames Western ‘pressure’

Belarus on Tuesday said it is not violating any international non-proliferation agreements by hosting Russian tactical nuclear weapons, arguing that the step was forced by years of pressure by the West.

Minsk was pushed to agree because of NATO’s military buildup in neighboring countries, as well as the “unprecedented political, economic and information pressure” from the US, UK and other NATO and EU states, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry told Russian news agency TASS.

It said Belarus is taking this step “to strengthen its own security and defense capability” at a time of “legitimate concerns and risks,” accusing the West of “direct and gross interference … aimed at changing the geopolitical course and the internal political system of Belarus.”

“Training of Belarusian pilots to fly aircraft with specific munitions, modernization of these aircraft … deployment of nuclear charges on the territory of Belarus without the transfer of control, and access to the corresponding technologies do not in any way contradict Articles I and II of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT),” the ministry said.

Cooperation between a nuclear and non-nuclear country is nothing new and has been done by NATO for decades, it added.

“NATO has long been practicing ‘joint nuclear missions’ and aircraft of the alliance’s members are certified for flights with nuclear weapons. Pilots are being trained for such ‘missions’ and military exercises are held,” the ministry said.

It said the US has over 150 tactical nuclear weapons in European countries, along with more than 250 planes ready for their possible use.

Belarus seeks an end to the “confrontational rhetoric” and calls for constructive and mutually respectful dialogue to strengthen global and regional security, multilateral mechanisms for disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control, including in the nuclear sphere, the ministry said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also pointed to the presence of US nuclear arms in Europe, as well as Washington’s decision to change its military doctrine on nuclear weapons from “defensive” to “limited possibilities.”

Under the guise of joint missions, the US has deployed its nuclear weapons in a number of European countries and trained military personnel of NATO states on their use, said ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

There is also an ongoing push to modernize US nukes and the carriers, which only heightens the threat, she said.

“At the same time, the openly anti-Russian nature of US and NATO military programs is no secret,” she added.

Zakharova said Russia displayed “maximum restraint” over past years, but its calls for removal of US nukes from other countries and additional steps to dial down tensions were either ignored or rejected.

With the West trying to inflict a “strategic defeat” on Russia through its “total hybrid war,” it was naive to expect there would be no countermeasures, she added.

“We always have and still reserve the right to take the necessary steps to ensure the security of Russia and its allies,” she asserted.

More from PoliticsMore posts in Politics »

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *