NATO sees no change in Russia’s nuclear posture despite claims by Belarusian leader

Brussels – NATO shows no signs of Russia changing its nuclear posture after President Alexander Lukashenko claimed Belarus had already received some of its tactical nuclear weapons from Moscow, military alliance leaders said Thursday said to

In an interview with state television on Tuesday, Lukashenko cheekily warned: he would order their use without hesitation If Belarus faces an act of aggression. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the weapons would be deployed to Belarus next month and would remain under the exclusive control of Moscow.

“Of course, we are closely monitoring Russia’s actions. So far, we have not seen a change in the nuclear posture that would require a change in our attitude,” Stoltenberg said at the alliance headquarters in Brussels. He told reporters before chairing a NATO defense ministers’ meeting.

NATO’s secret nuclear defense program group is scheduled to meet on Friday. While the meeting has been planned for some time and is not a reaction to recent developments, the alliance is concerned by President Putin’s threats and his decision to withdraw Russia from a key arms control treaty.

“Russia’s nuclear rhetoric and messages are reckless and dangerous,” Stoltenberg said. “Russia must know that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” “We are deploying more nuclear capabilities, including near NATO borders such as in highlands.”

Earlier this year, Putin announced plans to deploy short-range nuclear weapons to Moscow’s neighbor and ally, Belarus, in a move widely seen as a warning to Western powers stepping up military support for Ukraine. Russia also uses Belarus as a staging base for attacks on Ukraine.

In a meeting with President Lukashenko on Friday, Putin said the weapons facility construction work would be completed by July 7-8, after which it would be promptly transferred to Belarusian territory.

US President Joe Biden and his North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) counterparts gather for a July 11-12 summit in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) from the Belarusian border. .

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