MINSK, November 23. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has asserted that keeping nuclear weapons in his country ensures security in the region and authority on the international stage.
"Reproaches about deploying Russian tactical nuclear arms in our country, on our soil, are simply absurd. I am repeating for the hundredth time, we are not threatening anyone. We are simply learning the so-called diplomatic etiquette from those who turned the language of force into a global trend," he said at a meeting of the CSTO Collective Security Council.
According to the Belarusian leader, "this is the modern reality - only the presence of potent weapons guarantees security in the region and grants authority on the international stage."
Lukashenko reiterated that nuclear weapons were withdrawn from Belarus in 1996. "We ended up with NATO’s eastward expansion and the practice drill of a scenario of delivering a nuclear strike on Belarus in 2016. Of note, on the initiative of the administration of the so-called Nobel Peace Prize laureate Barack Obama," Lukashenko noted.
"It is possible to talk a lot about illegitimate unilateral enforcement measures, military provocations on the border, fake news items, millions of dollars spent on plotting would-be coups d’etat. I am not even mentioning the open demonstration of readiness to get NATO forces involved toward this end," the Belarusian president noted. ‘Why were B-52 strategic bombers circling near the Belarusian border in August 2020? Whom were they sending a signal to? Not just to Belarus. It is clear to whom," he added.
Earlier, the Belarusian authorities said 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. The first Russian nuclear warheads have already been delivered to Belarus.