Belarus Says Could Host Russian Nuclear Weapons: Infrastructure Already Set Up

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko indicated on December 30 that his country could host Russian nuclear weapons in response to a potential NATO deployment of its own nuclear weapons in Eastern Europe. The president also indicated that Belarus would support Russia in the event of provocations from Ukraine, and for the first time recognised the Crimean Peninsula as part of Russia joining 15 other UN member states to have done so since it was taken by Russian forces in 2014. These steps by Belarus come amid growing tensions with the western world after relations deteriorated in the wake of Western backed protests and riots in Minsk in September 2020. Belarus has since come under considerable Western economic and military pressure, and has moved to integrate more closely with Russia leading to some speculation that the two could move towards a full union. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted on December 1st regarding President Lukashenko’s statement on a possible nuclear deployment: “"I would take the statement as a very serious warning triggered primarily by the reckless policy that the West pursues," slamming NATO talks on moving nuclear weapons eastwards as reckless. Minsk was, according to Lavrov, responding to Western actions “which are absolutely irresponsible and aimed at triggering an armed conflict.” 


Belarus previously indicated serious concern at the deployment of American medium-range ground-based missiles to Europe, leading to speculation that it could seek to acquire several missiles from Russia. The planned large scale deployment of U.S. ground forces to Poland has also been seen in Minsk as a serious security threat. Belarus was previously a nuclear weapons state after inheriting over 80 nuclear-tipped missiles when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. It has reportedly maintained the infrastructure needed to deploy nuclear weapons and could potentially host Russian warheads almost instantly. Amid rising tensions between Belarus and the West in November the Russian air force notably deployed nuclear capable strategic bombers to fly in Belarusian airspace escorted by Belarus’ new Russian-supplied Su-30SM fighters, which are the heaviest in Europe capable of air-to-air combat and have more powerful engines than any of its other fighters. The country is expected to receive a range of new weapons, many of which are potentially compatible with nuclear warheads, after a visit by President Lukashenko to Russia in September where new arms contracts were signed. It has been speculated that further Su-30SM squadrons could be purchased to replace much lighter MiG-29s in service, and could be offered by Russia at highly favourable prices to support collective security. These fighters are capable of delivering nuclear strikes to any target in Europe from Belarusian airfields due to their very high endurance and access to standoff weapons

Post a Comment

If you have any doubt comment me.

Previous Post Next Post