On March 26, NATO denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin for his "dangerous and irresponsible" nuclear rhetoric. The criticism comes in response to Putin's threat to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus for training, marking the latest in a series of nuclear threats from Moscow aimed at Ukraine and the West.
Putin announced his decision on March 25, citing the U.K. Defense Ministry's recent move to supply Ukraine with ammunition containing depleted uranium. He also further threatened that aircraft and Iskander missile system that can carry nuclear weapons are already in Belarus, claiming that it is no different from "the U.S. and Europe" placing their weapons on ally's soil."
Russia's reference to NATO's nuclear sharing is totally misleading. NATO allies act with full respect of their international commitments," a NATO spokesperson told Reuters in emailed comments."
Moscow has consistently broken its arms control commitments, most recently suspending its participation in the New START Treaty," the unnamed spokesperson said.
Following Putin's statement, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry called for an extraordinary meeting of the UN Security Council.
Ukraine expects effective actions to counteract the Kremlin's nuclear blackmail from the United Kingdom, China, the United States, and France… We demand that an extraordinary meeting of the UN Security Council be immediately convened for this purpose," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Kremlin has been intensifying its nuclear threats since Ukraine began to see more progress on the battlefield in the fall of 2022, in a months-long counteroffensive campaign liberating the entire northeastern Kharkiv Oblast and recapturing the southern regional capital of Kherson.