This article was last updated on March 26, 2023
Putin wants tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus
Ukraine has accused Russia of turning Belarus into “a nuclear hostage” after President Putin announced a deal to station tactical nuclear weapons on Belarusian territory.
Opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya condemned the move as a further subjugation of Belarus under Russian control. Ukrainian officials also criticized the deal, calling it a step towards destabilizing Belarus and a maximization of public rejection of Russia in Belarusian society.
This is the first time Putin has announced a plan to station nuclear weapons in another country. Putin defended his decision, saying it was consistent with the US’s similar arrangements with its European allies and would not breach non-proliferation agreements. Analysts consider the risk of escalation to nuclear war to be “extremely low,” and the US has not adjusted its strategic nuclear posture.