“Dangerous and irresponsible”: NATO criticizes Russia over deployment of nuclear weapons in Belarus
27 March, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday for his “dangerous and irresponsible” nuclear rhetoric, a day after Moscow announced the depl...
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday for his “dangerous and irresponsible” nuclear rhetoric, a day after Moscow announced the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, according to Reuters.
“Russia’s reference to NATO’s nuclear sharing is totally misleading. NATO allies act with full respect of their international commitments,” a NATO spokesperson said in emailed comments to Reuters on Sunday. “Russia has consistently broken its arms control commitments, most recently suspending its participation in the New START Treaty,” the unnamed spokesperson added, according to Reuters.
Earlier on Saturday, Putin announced that they will deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, as the US has done on the territories of its NATO allies.
Although the move was not unexpected, it was one of Russia’s most blatant nuclear signals since the start of its invasion of Ukraine 13 months ago, prompting Ukraine to request a meeting of the UN Security Council.
According to Russia’s TASS news agency, Russia will deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus at the request of the Belarusian side.
“Even out of the context of these events, this statement (about the possible supply of depleted uranium shells by the UK to Ukraine – TASS), Alexander Grigorievich Lukashenko has long raised the issue of deploying Russian tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus,” Putin said.
Earlier, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, in response to the UK’s plans to supply depleted uranium shells to Ukraine, said that Russia would supply Belarus “ammunition with real uranium.”
“As for our negotiations with Alexander Grigorievich Lukashenko… The reason (for the statements of the Belarusian leader – TASS) was the statement by the British Minister of State for Defense [Annabel Goldie] that they were going to supply shells with depleted uranium to Ukraine, which is somehow connected with nuclear technology,” Putin said.
He stressed that “there is nothing unusual about this.”
“The United States has been doing this for decades. They placed their tactical nuclear weapons on the territories of their allied countries, NATO countries, in Europe a long time ago. In six states – these are the Federal Republic of Germany, Turkey, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Greece – well, in Greece there aren’t [tactical nuclear weapons] now, but there is a storage facility,” the Russian President said, TASS reported.
“And we agreed [with Belarus] that we will do the same. Without violating, I want to emphasize this, our international obligations on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons,” Putin stressed.