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Ambassador: Russia's nuclear threat in Belarus should be taken 'very seriously' by West

by Haley Zehrung June 17, 2023 3:20 AM 2 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Vadym Prystaiko said in an interview with CNN on June 16 that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's move to place nuclear weapons in Belarus should be taken "very, very seriously" by the West.

Prystaiko referred to the movement of nuclear weapons as "blackmail," although Ukraine is "much better equipped to withstand this pressure," due to a proliferation of air missiles and steady international support.

On June 16, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin claimed that the first batch of tactical nuclear weapons arrived in Belarus following an announcement on May 26 to place Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons on Belarusian territory.

According to Putin, more weapons are set to arrive in Belarus later this summer.

The White House said on June 13 that there is no "indication that movement of nuclear weapons is imminent or happening," adding that at the current moment, the U.S. does not see any reason to change its nuclear preparedness in response to the move.

The U.S. has also previously said it has not observed "any indications Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons in Belarus."

The Institute for the Study of War assessed on May 25 that it is “extraordinarily unlikely” that Putin will use any Belarus-based nuclear warheads in Ukraine or elsewhere.

NATO called the move "dangerous and irresponsible," while EU diplomacy chief Josep Borrell has said placing Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus a "step which will lead to further extremely dangerous escalation."

Belarus Weekly: Minsk to trigger martial law in case of cross-border incursions
Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko claims that Russian tactical nukes will arrive in Belarus within “days,” noting he won’t hesitate to use them should Belarus “face an aggression.” Belarus doesn’t have the launch codes. A draft bill awaiting Lukashenko’s approval proposes expanding the reas…
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