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Saturday, June 10, 2023

Russia to move tactical nuclear weapons near western border of Belarus

On Sunday, the Russian envoy to Minsk announced that Russia would be relocating its tactical nuclear weapons near the western borders of Belarus. This move places the weapons in close proximity to NATO’s borders and is expected to heighten tensions between Moscow and the West. President Vladimir Putin’s announcement on March 26 marked one of Russia’s most notable nuclear signals since its invasion of Ukraine over a year ago.

As part of a long-standing effort to integrate further, Russia and Belarus have been discussing the formalization of their “union state,” a process that has accelerated since Belarus allowed Russia to use its territory to deploy troops into Ukraine. According to Boris Gryzlov, the Russian ambassador to Belarus, the weapons will be moved to the western border of the union state to bolster security.

The weapons will be moved to the western border of our union state and will increase the possibilities to ensure security. Boris Gryzlov

“This will be done despite the noise in Europe and the United States.”

The Russian ambassador to Belarus, Gryzlov, confirmed that a storage facility for the tactical nuclear weapons ordered by Putin will be completed by July 1, but did not disclose the exact location where they will be stationed.

The weapons are expected to be moved to the west of Belarus, which shares borders with NATO members Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland, all of which have reinforced their Eastern flank with additional troops and military equipment after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Concerns have been raised by the US and Kiev’s allies over the possibility of Russia deploying tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, with President Joe Biden calling it a “worrisome” development. President Alexander Lukashenko also stated on Friday that Belarus would allow Russia to deploy intercontinental nuclear missiles if necessary.

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