Putin says Russia will station nuclear weapons in Belarus – National

President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that Russia agreed with neighboring Belarus to deploy tactical nuclear weapons on its territory, but not in violation of the non-proliferation agreement.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had previously raised the issue of deploying tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, which borders Poland, Putin told state television.

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“There is nothing unusual here either. First, the United States has been doing this for decades. They have been deploying tactical nuclear weapons on allied territory for a long time.”

“We have agreed to do the same without violating our obligations and international obligations on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.”

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Putin said Russia plans to complete construction of a tactical nuclear weapons storage facility in Belarus by July 1, adding that Russia will not actually transfer control of the weapons to Minsk.

Russia has 10 aircraft capable of carrying tactical nuclear weapons stationed in Belarus, he said, adding that Moscow has already transferred many Iskandar tactical missile systems to Belarus that can be used to launch nuclear weapons.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren, Ottawa; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Deepa Babington)

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