MOSCOW, May 25. /TASS/. An effort has already begun to move non-strategic nuclear weapons to Belarus from Russia, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday.
"He [Russian President Vladimir Putin] informed me that today he had signed a decree on our actions to store nuclear weapons in Belarus. He talked about a particular document. A decision was made to implement what was said in a verbal form. We needed to prepare storage sites and so on. We did this and that is why the effort of moving nuclear munitions has begun," Lukashenko said in a live broadcast on Russia’s TV Channel One.
When asked about whether the non-strategic nuclear weapons were on Belarusian soil, Lukashenko replied: "Possibly." I will come and see."
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and his Belarusian counterpart Viktor Khrenin signed documents in Minsk earlier on Thursday defining the procedure for storing Russian nuclear weapons in a special storage facility on Belarusian soil.
President Putin announced on March 25 that at Minsk’s request Moscow would store its tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus similar to what the United States had long been doing on the territory of its allies. As the Russian leader pointed out, the construction of storage facilities for tactical nuclear weapons would be completed on Belarusian territory on July 1.
Russia has already handed over Iskander-M tactical missile systems capable of using missiles with both conventional and nuclear warheads to the Belarusian armed forces. Moscow also rendered assistance in re-equipping Belarusian combat planes for carrying special munitions.