Russia could station its intercontinental nuclear missiles in Belarus: Lukashenka

Photo: Anadolu Agency/ GettyImages

Alyaksandr Lukashenka said on Friday that Russia could hold intercontinental nuclear missiles in Belarus if necessary. Earlier, the Belarusian strongman had agreed to station Russian tactical nuclear weapons in his country.

In an annual address to lawmakers and government officials, Lukashenka said Moscow’s plans to station nuclear arms on its territory could help give protection to Belarus, which he said was under threat from the West.

“I am not trying to intimidate or blackmail anyone. I want to safeguard the Belarusian state and ensure peace for the Belarusian people,” Lukashenka said.

Although Vladimir Putin said that the tactical missiles would remain under Moscow’s control, Lukashenka suggested he could use them with Russia’s agreement if Belarus was to be threatened with destruction.

UN Security Council stance

The UN Security Council met on Friday, at the request of the United States and Albania, to discuss Putin’s plans. The deputy U.S. ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood, accused Putin of “escalating Russia’s dangerous and destabilizing behavior” with his threat to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus.

“The announcement of last week that Russia intends to deploy nuclear weapons on Belarus and territory would be yet another dangerous step. Threats with and use of nuclear weapons are inadmissible. Russia’s decision will not weaken our resolve to support Ukraine,” EU representative to the UN Olof Skog said.

In turn, Poland’s representative to the UN Krzysztof Szczerski stressed that “repeated threats to use of use of nuclear weapons are utterly irresponsible and unacceptable, even if they boil down to a political bluff of blackmailing.”

Lukashenka’s nuclear warning to Ukraine

In Friday’s speech, Lukashenka also called for an immediate, unconditional ceasefire in the Ukraine war, cautioning that Russia would be forced to use “the most terrible weapon” if it felt threatened.

“It is impossible to defeat a nuclear power. If the Russian leadership understands that the situation threatens to cause Russia’s disintegration, it will use the most terrible weapon. This cannot be allowed,” he said.

Ukraine has previously rejected Minsk’s offer to broker peace. Russia used Belarus as a launchpad for its invasion in February last year, and Kyiv says Russia continues to use Belarusian airspace for drone and missile strikes against Ukraine. Belarus has said it will not enter the war but regularly holds joint military training exercises with Russian forces.