Nuclear weapons deployment in Belarus is in response to Eastern Europe’s militarization: Lukashenko

Nuclear weapons deployment in Belarus is in response to Eastern Europe’s militarization: Lukashenko

‘There are growing risks of the use of weapons of mass destruction,’ president says

By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) - Tactical nuclear weapons have been deployed in Belarus in response to the militarization of Eastern Europe, President Alexander Lukashenko said Tuesday.

"By deploying tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, we are appropriately responding to the rapid militarization of Eastern Europe and the increased military activities of the United States and NATO,” Lukashenko told participants of the 11th Moscow Conference on International Security, according to a statement by the Belarusian presidency.

The statement quoted him as saying that information wars and cybercrimes have become new types of weapons that have undermined international trade and economic relations.

“Against this background, remaining a consistent supporter of ensuring peace and security, fulfilling previously assumed international obligations, the Republic of Belarus – together with its partners and within the framework of the Union State of Belarus and Russia – is making every effort to strengthen interaction in the fight against transnational challenges and threats of various kinds,” he said.

Lukashenko noted, however, that the deployment of nuclear weapons does not cancel the peace initiatives that Minsk is putting forward "in order to relaunch a dialogue on issues pertaining to European and global security on an equal footing."

He also said the current international situation remained “unprecedentedly tense,” adding that “almost all known challenges and threats have escalated.”

"International laws on arms control have been discredited. The risks are growing that weapons of mass destruction will be used, particularly for provocations involving nuclear and biological weapons,” he said.

He went on to express confidence that the meetings during the conference in Moscow would serve to “closely strengthen cooperation between states and peoples and become a significant step towards building a new system of international security.”

In late May, Russia and Belarus's defense ministers signed an agreement on the deployment of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the move was in response to growing security risks, stressing that Moscow had followed the US, which had deployed its tactical nuclear arms in European countries.​​​​​​

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