Russia has provided Belarus with aircraft and Iskander-M missile complexes capable of delivering nuclear strikes, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed on April 4.
Shoigu was speaking on a conference call with the leadership of the Russian Armed Forces. According to him, Belarusian troops began training on April 3.
Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened on March 25 that his country intends to place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus for training, the latest in Moscow's series of nuclear threats against Ukraine and the West.
The Russian leader claimed that the decision was made due to the U.K. Defense Ministry's recent decision to supply Ukraine with ammunition containing depleted uranium.
“We are not transferring our tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, but we will deploy them and train the military, like the United States in Europe,” Putin said in an interview with a Russian state-controlled news outlet.
Putin claimed that the agreement had already been made with Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko, who the Russian leader claims has "long" been asking for tactical nuclear weapons to be placed in the country's territory.
Putin said the "special storage facility" for tactical nuclear weapons would be ready by July 1.