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NATO condemns deployment of nuclear weapons in Belarus — final communique

The countries of the alliance called on "Russia to reaffirm its commitment - in words and deeds - to the principles" of the statements of the leaders of the five states on the prevention of nuclear war and the avoidance of an arms race in January 2022

VILNIUS, July 11. /TASS/. NATO condemns Russia’s decision to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus, the alliance’s members said in a final communique of the Vilnius summit on Tuesday.

"We condemn Russia’s announced intention to deploy nuclear weapons and nuclear-capable systems on Belarusian territory," the document says.

"We recall the Joint Statement of the Leaders of the Five Nuclear Weapons States issued on 3 January 2022 on Preventing Nuclear War and Avoiding Arms Races. We call on Russia to recommit - in words and deeds - to the principles enshrined in that Statement," it says.

On March 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that Russia, at Minsk’s request, would deploy its tactical nuclear weapons on Belarusian soil, precisely the way the US has deployed elements of its own nuclear arsenal on the territory of its allies. Moscow has already transferred the nuclear-capable Iskander system to Minsk and is helping its Belarusian colleagues to re-equip their aircraft accordingly. Belarusian missile troops and pilots underwent relevant training in Russia.

On June 16, Putin said that the first Russian nuclear warheads had already been delivered to Belarus and the entire batch would be deployed by the end of the year. On June 23, Lukashenko said that a significant part of the warheads planned to be delivered had already arrived in the republic.