Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Putin Ally Says He Wouldn't Hesitate to Use Russian Nuclear Weapons to Repel Aggression
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 1 year ago on
June 14, 2023

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko declared Tuesday that his country had already received some of Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons and warned that he wouldn’t hesitate to order their use if Belarus faced an act of aggression.

The brash comments from Lukashenko contradicted earlier statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said Russian nuclear weapons would be deployed to Belarus next month and emphasized that they would remain under Moscow’s exclusive control.

Earlier this year, Putin announced the planned deployment of short-range nuclear weapons to Moscow’s neighbor and ally Belarus in a move widely seen as a warning to the West as it stepped up military support for Ukraine.

During his meeting Friday with Lukashenko, Putin said work on building facilities for the weapons would be completed by July 7-8, and they would be moved to Belarusian territory quickly after that.

Lukashenko said Tuesday that “everything is ready” for the Russian nuclear weapons’ deployment, adding that “it could take just a few days for us to get what we had asked for and even a bit more.”

Asked later by a Russian state TV host whether Belarus had already received some of the weapons, Lukashenko responded coyly by saying: “Not all of them, little by little.”

“We have got the missiles and bombs from Russia,” he said, adding that the Russian nuclear weapons to be deployed to Belarus are three times more powerful than the U.S. atomic bombs that were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

“God forbid I have to make a decision to use those weapons today, but there would be no hesitation if we face an aggression,” Lukashenko, known for his blustering statements, said in comments released by his office earlier Tuesday.

Speaking later Tuesday in remarks broadcast by Russian state TV, he clarified that he would consult with Putin before using any of the weapons.

‘No Problem at All … Launching a Strike’

“Listen, if a war starts, do you think I will look around?” he said. “I pick up the phone, and wherever he is, he picks it up,” Lukashenko said in a reference to Putin. “If he calls, I pick it up any time. It’s no problem at all to coordinate launching a strike.”

Russian officials had no immediate comment on Lukashenko’s remarks.

Lukashenko emphasized that it was he who had asked Putin to deploy Russian nuclear weapons to Belarus. He argued that the move was necessary to deter a potential aggression.

“I believe no one would be willing to fight a country that has those weapons,” Lukashenko said. “Those are weapons of deterrence.”

Tactical nuclear weapons are intended to destroy enemy troops and weapons on the battlefield. They have a relatively short range and a much lower yield than nuclear warheads fitted to intercontinental ballistic missiles that are capable of obliterating whole cities.

Lukashenko said that Belarus didn’t need the deployment of Russia’s strategic nuclear weapons to its territory. “Am I going to fight America? No,” he said.

He added, however, that Belarus was readying facilities for intercontinental nuclear-tipped missiles as well, just in case.

Along with Ukraine and Kazakhstan, Belarus hosted a significant share of Soviet nuclear arsenals when they were all part of the Soviet Union. Those weapons were withdrawn to Russia after the 1991 Soviet collapse under a deal sponsored by the U.S.

Russia didn’t say how many of its tactical nuclear weapons would be sent to Belarus. The U.S. government believes Russia has about 2,000 tactical nuclear weapons, which include bombs that can be carried by aircraft, warheads for short-range missiles and artillery rounds.

Russia used Belarus’ territory to send its troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, and has kept forces and weapons on the territory of its ally. Lukashenko said Tuesday that Belarus would bolster production of unguided rockets for multiple rocket launchers

Lukashenko, who has been in power for 29 years, has relied on Russia’s political and economic support to survive months of protests, mass arrests and Western sanctions following an election in 2020 that kept him in power but was widely seen at home and abroad as rigged.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

49ers GM: We Have No Intention of Dealing Brandon Aiyuk

DON'T MISS

Reality Show Contestant Apologizes After Eating Protected Bird

DON'T MISS

Wildfires Send About 25,000 Fleeing From Canadian Rockies’ Largest National Park and Nearby Town

DON'T MISS

Surprise Blast of Rock, Water and Steam Sends Dozens Running for Safety in Yellowstone

DON'T MISS

Review: Candlelight Delivers an Enchanting Performance

DON'T MISS

Fresno State’s All-Time Sacks Leader Will Be Inducted Into Football Ring of Honor

DON'T MISS

Watch Out, Fresno. That ‘Summer Cold’ Might Be COVID.

DON'T MISS

Tesla’s Profit Fell 45% in Second Quarter on Weak EV Sales

DON'T MISS

Israeli Authorities Announce Largest Land Seizure in 30 Years

DON'T MISS

Trump Announces He Will Meet with Netanyahu on Friday at Mar-a-Lago

UP NEXT

ICJ Rules Israeli Occupation Illegal, Urges Global Action as Biden Prepares to Meet Netanyahu

UP NEXT

NATO Strengthens Defense Against Russia with 500K Troops Ready to Deploy

UP NEXT

Israel Orders Evacuation of Part of Humanitarian Zone as War’s Toll Passes 39,000 Palestinians

UP NEXT

Biden Shepherded Europe on Ukraine and NATO. What Happens Now?

UP NEXT

Ukraine Strikes Preliminary $20 Billion Debt Restructuring Deal

UP NEXT

Netanyahu, Who Clashed With Biden, Prepares for a Delicate Farewell

UP NEXT

Anti-Whaling Campaigner Paul Watson Arrested in Greenland, Faces Possible Extradition to Japan

UP NEXT

Russia Convicts US Reporter of Espionage After a Trial Widely Seen as Politically Motivated

UP NEXT

Drone Strike by Yemen’s Houthi Rebels Kills 1 Person and Wounds at Least 10 in Tel Aviv

UP NEXT

Top UN Court Says Israel’s Presence in Occupied Palestinian Territories Is Illegal

Surprise Blast of Rock, Water and Steam Sends Dozens Running for Safety in Yellowstone

12 hours ago

Review: Candlelight Delivers an Enchanting Performance

12 hours ago

Fresno State’s All-Time Sacks Leader Will Be Inducted Into Football Ring of Honor

13 hours ago

Watch Out, Fresno. That ‘Summer Cold’ Might Be COVID.

14 hours ago

Tesla’s Profit Fell 45% in Second Quarter on Weak EV Sales

14 hours ago

Israeli Authorities Announce Largest Land Seizure in 30 Years

14 hours ago

Trump Announces He Will Meet with Netanyahu on Friday at Mar-a-Lago

14 hours ago

Fresno Wants to Expand Radio Park. Will It Force a Convenience Store to Sell?

14 hours ago

Clip Resurfaces of Vance Criticizing Harris for Being ‘Childless,’ Testing Trump’s New Running Mate

14 hours ago

Is California Ready for Its Close-Up? Trump Will Demonize the State and Harris

15 hours ago

49ers GM: We Have No Intention of Dealing Brandon Aiyuk

SANTA CLARA — The San Francisco 49ers have no intention of granting star receiver Brandon Aiyuk his trade request and remain committed to ge...

11 hours ago

11 hours ago

49ers GM: We Have No Intention of Dealing Brandon Aiyuk

12 hours ago

Reality Show Contestant Apologizes After Eating Protected Bird

12 hours ago

Wildfires Send About 25,000 Fleeing From Canadian Rockies’ Largest National Park and Nearby Town

12 hours ago

Surprise Blast of Rock, Water and Steam Sends Dozens Running for Safety in Yellowstone

12 hours ago

Review: Candlelight Delivers an Enchanting Performance

13 hours ago

Fresno State’s All-Time Sacks Leader Will Be Inducted Into Football Ring of Honor

Photo of an antibody blood tube
14 hours ago

Watch Out, Fresno. That ‘Summer Cold’ Might Be COVID.

14 hours ago

Tesla’s Profit Fell 45% in Second Quarter on Weak EV Sales

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend