Vladimir Putin has announced that he will have tactical nuclear weapons stationed in Belarus and send “very effective Iskander” missile systems.
Russian soldiers will train Belarusian forces how to use and handle the Iskander mobile short range ballistic missile system which can be used as a conventional or nuclear.
The Iskander travels at a terminal hypersonic speed of up to 2,600 miles per second or Mach 6-7 which has a range of 500 Km which replaced the old Soviet era Scud missile which was used in Gulf War 1.
NATO has called out Moscow for their “dangerous” nuclear rhetoric, after Putin said Russia would station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.
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A NATO spokesperson said, “NATO is vigilant, and we are closely monitoring the situation.
“We have not seen any changes in Russia’s nuclear posture that would lead us to adjust our own.
“Russia’s reference to NATO’s nuclear sharing is totally misleading.
“NATO allies act with full respect of their international commitments.
“Russia has consistently broken its arms control commitments, most recently suspending its participation in the New START Treaty.”
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell tweeted, “Belarus hosting Russian nuclear weapons would mean an irresponsible escalation and threat to European security.
“Belarus can still stop it, it is their choice. The EU stands ready to respond with further sanctions.”
It comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Saturday that Moscow plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has criticised Putin’s move saying Russia is taking Belarus “nuclear hostage” and has called for an urgent emergency United Nations Security Council meeting to address the threat across Europe.
The Ukrainian Ministry said in statement, “Russia once again confirms its chronic inability to be a responsible steward of nuclear weapons as a means of deterrence and prevention of war, not as a tool of threats and intimidation.”
Tass news agency quoted Putin saying that storing the weapons in Belarus will not violate the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), but this move does represent Russia’s most clearest sign yet of a nuclear threat.
Putin said, “We have already handed over to Belarus our well-known, very effective Iskander complex, it can also be a carrier.
“From April 3, we will start training the crew and on July 1 we will complete the construction of a special storage facility for tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus.”
TASS also quoted the Russian leader as saying, “We agreed with [Belarusian president] Lukashenko that we would place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus without violating the non-proliferation regime.”
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons said in a statement, “In the context of the war in Ukraine, the likelihood of miscalculation or misinterpretation is extremely high.
“Sharing nuclear weapons makes the situation much worse and risks catastrophic humanitarian consequences.”