Vladimir Putin announced on state television that he plans on placing nuclear weapons in Belarus.
Putin said, “we are doing what they have been doing for decades, stationing them in certain allied countries, preparing the launch platforms and training their crews.”
The Epoch Times reported:
During a state television event, Putin revealed plans to place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, located next to Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Latvia, and Lithuania. The Russian leader said that his military will have control of any weapons that are stationed in Belarus, which was used in part by Russian forces to help stage last year’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We are doing what they have been doing for decades, stationing them in certain allied countries, preparing the launch platforms and training their crews,” Putin said Saturday night, according to The Associated Press and other media outlets. “We are going to do the same thing.”
Tactical nuclear weapons refer to those used for specific gains on a battlefield rather than those with the capacity to wipe out cities. It is unclear how many such weapons Russia has, given it is an area still shrouded in Cold War secrecy.
Putin told Russia 24TV that the nuclear site in Belarus will be ready by July 1. He did not say exactly when the weapons would be sent to Belarus.
NATO responded by calling his rhetoric “dangerous and irresponsible” and saying he was making Belarus a “nuclear hostage.”
The U.S. downplayed the message.
NATO ripped Vladimir Putin on Sunday following the Russian president’s announcement that he plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.
“Russia’s nuclear rhetoric is dangerous and irresponsible,” NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in response.
Still, Western leaders did not see reason to change their own nuclear positions.
“NATO is vigilant and we are closely monitoring the situation,” Lungescu added. “We have not seen any changes in Russia’s nuclear posture that would lead us to adjust our own.”
The U.S. also downplayed Putin’s plan.
“I can tell you we’ve seen nothing that would indicate Mr. Putin is preparing to use tactical nuclear weapons in any way whatsoever in Ukraine,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“And I can also tell you that we haven’t seen anything that would cause us to change our own strategic nuclear deterrent posture,” Kirby continued.
Trump issued a warning to Americans on Truth Social:
Here we go!!! Just as I predicted, now we’re playing with the “BIG STUFF.” The “N” WORD is now being used, front and center. This situation was caused by us – It’s what happens when you have incompetent people running your government. All I can say to you right now is, PRAY!