On May 25, an agreement was signed in Minsk on the procedure for deploying Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons in Belarus, the decision on its use remains with Russia.
The agreement was signed by the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Sergei Shoigu and the Minister of Defense of Belarus Viktor Khrenin, writes Belt edition. The Belarusian minister called the deployment of nuclear weapons in Belarus “a response to unfriendly countries.” Khrenin claims that the main goal is to protect the western borders of the Union State.
He referred to “non-compliance with the security guarantees given to Belarus in the Budapest Memorandum of December 5, 1994” and “continuous militant rhetoric from the collective West.”
According to the Belarusian defense minister, it is also about re-equipping Su-25 aircraft with the possibility of using nuclear weapons. Khrenin claims that the Belarusian military was trained at Russian training grounds and gained practical skills in their operation.
Control over nuclear weapons remains with Russia, as well as the decision to use them. According to Shoigu, the measures implemented by Russia and Belarus “comply with all existing international legal obligations.” The Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation stressed that Russia, while deploying non-strategic nuclear weapons in Belarus, does not transfer them to Minsk – control over nuclear weapons and the decision on its use remains with Moscow. The ministers of the two countries “discussed the military-political situation and issues of military-technical cooperation” between their departments.
“Certainly, this is a step neither towards de-escalation nor towards reducing tensions,” European Union Foreign Service spokesman Peter Stano said on question DW about the agreement signed by Moscow and Minsk on the deployment of the Russian nuclear arsenal in Belarus. He called this agreement a new provocation in the context of the illegal aggression of Russia and Belarus cooperating with it in this. At a briefing in Brussels on 25 May, Stano stated:
“EUwill of course follow its implementation very closely and respond accordingly.”
The transfer of nuclear weapons from Russia to Belarus has begun, Alexander Lukashenko said during a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Moscow. The head of the Belarusian state was asked what he discussed with Vladimir Putin the day before during the Eurasian Economic Forum, to which Lukashenka replied:
“It was about the fact that he informed me that he signed a decree on our actions to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus. That is, it was about a specific document. A decision was made in development of what was said orally. Belarus) and places of storage, etc. We did all this. Therefore, the movement of nuclear weapons began.”
Regarding the security of nuclear weapons, the Belarusian President assured:
“This is not even discussed. You know that we are punctual, tidy, masterful people, as you say. Therefore, do not worry about nuclear weapons. We are responsible for this. These are serious issues. Everything will be all right here too.”
Recall that in March of this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced an agreement with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in the republic. According to the President of Russia, the Iskander missile system, which can be its carrier, has been handed over to Belarus.