Belarusian leader warns he’s prepared to use Russian nuclear weapon to repel attack

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko shake hands after a joint news conference following their talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. (Sergei Guneyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) Sergei Guneyev/AP

Belarusian leader warns he’s prepared to use Russian nuclear weapon to repel attack

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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko will not hesitate to use the Russian nuclear weapons set to be deployed to his country next month, he said on Tuesday.

Last week, Vladimir Putin said Russia would deploy nuclear weapons to Belarus on July 7-8, when the requisite facilities are ready, during a conversation with his Belarusian ally. Putin initially announced the plan in March.

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“God forbid that I have to make a decision to use these weapons. But there will be no hesitation in the event of an aggression against us,” Lukashenko said, according to the state news agency BelTA. “We have prepared everything, and are implementing the program we have outlined with the president of Russia. … I think hardly anyone will want to fight with a country that has such weapons. It’s a deterrent weapon.”

The Belarusian leader also emphasized that it was his request to house Russia’s nuclear weapons and not something being forced upon him.

“It is not about Russia at all,” he said. “It was not Russia that imposed this decision on me. Why? Because, as you all say, no one has even fought with a nuclear power. I do not want anybody to fight with us. Is there such a threat? Yes, there is. I have to prevent this threat.”

Putin has frequently touted his nuclear arsenal during the war in Ukraine, often using the threat of his arsenal in an attempt to decrease the U.S. and other Western countries’ willingness to arm Kyiv.

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A U.S. national security council spokesperson told the Washington Examiner last Friday that the administration had “not seen any reason to adjust our own nuclear posture, nor any indications that Russia is preparing to use a nuclear weapon,” and added, “For Belarus, this is yet another example of Lukashenko making irresponsible and provocative choices. We remain committed to the collective defense of the NATO alliance.”

The U.S. is hoping to restart nuclear arms treaty negotiations with both Moscow and Beijing, though Putin suspended Russia’s participation in what was at the time the last remaining nuclear treaty between Russia and the United States.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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