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The first tactical nuclear weapons to be stationed in Belarus have arrived, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin claimed during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 16.
"The first nuclear charges were delivered to the territory of Belarus. But only the first,” Putin said. “This is the first part. But by the end of the summer, by the end of the year, we will complete this work.”
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Belarusian counterpart Viktor Khrenin first signed an agreement on placing Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons on Belarusian territory on May 26.
Shoigu reportedly said during the meeting between the two that control over the weaponry would remain with Moscow.
Earlier on June 13, Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko alleged that the first weapons shipment had arrived in the country. "We have missiles and bombs that we received from Russia," he said in an interview with a Russian state TV channel.
He claimed that the bombs Belarus received are "three times more powerful than those in Hiroshima and Nagasaki."
The agreement has been largely condemned by the West for violating the International Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, as well as for escalating Russia's unprovoked war of aggression on Ukraine.
The Pentagon has said, however, that while it continues to monitor this situation, it does not see any reason to adjust its own strategic nuclear posture as it has not received any indication Russia plans to use the nuclear weapons stationed in Belarus.