Date: 26 May 2023 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński

Russia, Belarus Sign Deal to Deploy Tactical Nuclear Weapon in Belarus

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said the transfer of some tactical nuclear weapons from Russia to Belarus had begun. Earlier the Kremlin informed Moscow had signed documents on placing Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, as announced a few weeks before. Handing out nuclear weapons to Belarus will not change the security situation in the region as Russia has deployed such weapons in its exclave of Kaliningrad. It is just a political game.


Russia and Belarus signed a deal formalizing the deployment of Moscow’s tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of its ally. Nuclear warhead will be stored in a facility in Belarus whose construction should be completed in a month so it is unlikely that the transfer of some tactical nuclear weapons from Russia to Belarus has begun. Unless it is a matter of deploying personnel and technology, It is not clear where tactical nuclear weapons will be stored but surely in a Russian-controlled facility. The plan for the nuclear deployment was announced by Putin in an interview with state television on March 25. He said Russia would complete the construction of a storage facility there by July 1. Deploying nuclear weapons to Belarus is just a political declaration to tighten Moscow’s grip on Minsk. Russia already has long-range nuclear weapons, and stationing missiles in Belarus will not extend their range to new targets. The Kremlin could launch medium-range and long-range missiles from mainland Russia and its exclave of Kaliningrad, making it no different than if Iskander missile systems (with a range of up to 500 km) were deployed in Belarus. Stationing tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus requires both significant military infrastructure and Russian command and control over elements of the Belarusian armed forces. U.S. President Joe Biden said that he felt “extremely negative” about the deployment of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus.

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