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U.S. President Joe Biden called "absolutely irresponsible" Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement that the first of Russia's tactical nukes have been deployed to Belarus.
Putin claimed that all of the weapons would be deployed in Belarus by the end of the year.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on June 16 there are no signs for now that Russia is planning to use a nuke.
One of Russia's claimed reasons for invading Ukraine was to supposedly prevent the country from acquiring nuclear weapons, a fact Blinken called "ironic" in light of its promise to put its own weapons in Belarus.
By placing its nukes in Belarus, Russia seeks to cement its control over the country, according to the Institute for the Study of War and other analysts.
The presence of the weapons in Belarus could further isolate the country, forcing it to rely more on Russia.
Moscow and Minsk would also have an additional excuse to raise troops and conduct crackdowns by citing threats to nuclear weapon storage facilities.