Russia's foreign ministry announced on Monday that the tactical nuclear weapons controlled by Moscow and placed on Belarusian territory will be stationed there without time limit.
Both Presidents Putin and Lukashenko days ago confirmed delivery of the first batch of nuclear warheads to Belarus. The new deployment is in response to 'aggressive policies' from NATO countries, and had been initially announced after months ago the UK said it would supply Ukraine with depleted uranium shells.
Russian foreign ministry official Alexei Polishchuk said the move was a necessary "forced response" to the West upping its involvement in the Ukraine war, particularly through increasing supplies of heavier and heavier weapons systems, most recently tanks.
Polishchuk took the opportunity to once again blast Western nuclear hypocrisy, as other officials have done recently:
He noted that when the details of the Moscow-Minsk agreement were being ironed out, the two sides considered the "years-long destructive practices" of joint nuclear missions of NATO member states.
Polishchuk stressed, however, that "unlike American warheads in Europe," Russia’s weapons will be located in close proximity to its own borders and on the territory of the Union State of Russia and Belarus.
But he also affirmed that it's possible things could deescalate just as quickly as they've escalated, given the Russian tactical nukes can hypothetically be withdrawn from Belarus at any moment.
But this option would only be in response to the United States taking definitive action, as according to RT, he explained that "Moscow would only consider such an option if the US eliminated its own nuclear infrastructure in Europe."
"Of course, such a step on our part would have to be preceded by the complete withdrawal of all American nuclear weapons back to US territory and by the elimination of all relevant infrastructure in Europe," Polishchuk stated.
Back in March, President Putin said the following...
⚡️Putin: Russia is not transferring its nuclear weapons to Belarus, but is doing what the US has been doing for decades pic.twitter.com/vblLo2pJWI— War Monitor (@WarMonitors) March 25, 2023
Based on NATO's nuclear sharing mission, the US currently has nuclear warheads positioned in five non-nuclear weapon states, including Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Turkey.