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Will station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus like US does in NATO nations: Putin
Moscow: Russia, at the request of the Belarusian side, will deploy its tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, just as the United States has been doing on the territories of its NATO allies, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on the Rossiya-24 news channel on Saturday, Russian news Agency TASS reported.
"Even out of the context of these events, this statement (about the possible supply of depleted uranium shells by the UK to Ukraine - TASS), Alexander Grigorievich Lukashenko has long raised the issue of deploying Russian tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus," Putin said. Earlier, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, in response to the UK's plans to supply depleted uranium shells to Ukraine, said that Russia would supply Belarus "ammunition with real uranium."
"As for our negotiations with Alexander Grigorievich Lukashenko... The reason (for the statements of the Belarusian leader - TASS) was the statement by the British Minister of State for Defense [Annabel Goldie] that they were going to supply shells with depleted uranium to Ukraine, which is somehow connected with nuclear technology," Putin said.
He stressed that "there is nothing unusual about this."
"The United States has been doing this for decades. They placed their tactical nuclear weapons on the territories of their allied countries, NATO countries, in Europe a long time ago. In six states - these are the Federal Republic of Germany, Turkey, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Greece - well, in Greece there aren't [tactical nuclear weapons] now, but there is a storage facility," the Russian President said, TASS reported.
"And we agreed [with Belarus] that we will do the same. Without violating, I want to emphasize this, our international obligations on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons," Putin stressed.
"We have already helped our Belarusian colleagues to reequip their planes. Ten planes are ready to apply this type of weapon. We have handed over to Belarus our well-known and very effective Iskander system that can carry [nuclear weapons]. On April 3, we will start training the crew and on July 1 we will complete the construction of special storage for tactical nuclear weapons on the Belarusian territory," the President said.
"Thus, everything the President of Belarus asked about, all the issues he raised in this regard, they are being implemented, and all our agreements will be reached in the very near future," the Russian leader went on.
But he stressed that Russia does not transfer such weapons to Belarus, just as the United States does not transfer them to its allies.
"We are actually doing everything that they have been doing for decades," Putin explained, noting that the Americans deploy these weapons, prepare carriers and train crews.
"We are going to do the same, this is exactly what Alexander Grigoryevich asked for," the Russian leader concluded. (ANI)