The agreement stipulates the deployment of non-strategic weapons to Belarus in response to increased NATO activity
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, and Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin exchange documents during a meeting after a session of the Council of Defense Ministers of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Minsk, Belarus, Thursday, May 25, 2023. © Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP
Moscow and Minsk have sealed an agreement on the deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. Explaining the need for the move, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu cited a recent increase in the number of NATO maneuvers involving weapons of mass destruction.
Shoigu and his Belarusian counterpart, Viktor Khrenin, on Thursday signed off on documents stipulating the terms of the deployment and storage of the Russian weapons.
The Russian minister emphasized that the move had come in response to the “acute escalation of threats and activities by NATO joint nuclear missions.” He noted that the agreement involves “non-strategic nuclear weapons” and is in accordance with “all international legal obligations currently in force.”
“Russia is not handing over nuclear weapons to the Belarusian Republic; control over it and the decision to use it remains with the Russian side,” Shoigu added.