Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has stated that if any other nation wants to join a Russia-Belarus union, “nuclear weapons for everyone.”
Last week, Russia announced plans to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, the Kremlin’s first deployment of such warheads outside Russia since the Soviet Union’s demise in 1991, raising fears in the West.
In an interview broadcast late Sunday on Russian state television, Lukashenko, President Vladimir Putin’s staunchest supporter among Russia’s neighbors, said it must be “strategically understood” that Minsk and Moscow had a rare opportunity to join.
“No one is against Kazakhstan and other countries having the same close relations that we have with the Russian Federation,” Lukashenko said.
“If someone is worried … (then) it is very simple: join in the Union State of Belarus and Russia. That’s all: there will be nuclear weapons for everyone.”
He added that it was his own view – not the view of Russia.
Russia and Belarus are formally part of a Union State, a borderless union and alliance between the two former Soviet republics.
Russia used the territory of Belarus as a launchpad for its invasion of their common neighbour Ukraine in February last year, and since then their military cooperation has intensified, with joint training exercises on Belarusian soil.
On Sunday, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said that another unit of the S-400 mobile, surface-to-air missile systems arrived from Moscow, with the systems to be ready for combat duty soon.