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Belarus, Russia conduct tactical nuke drills amid current situation — Lukashenko

"An escalation is ongoing," the president said

MINSK, May 9. /TASS/. Russia and Belarus are conducting training drills with tactical nuclear weapons in the wake of the situation unfolding around the two countries, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said.

"Nuclear weapons are terrifying weapons. But it is a weapon. Therefore, in order to use such weapons, we must train, we must know how to handle them. An escalation is ongoing. What should we do in this situation? We need to keep powder dry, including these lethal weapons," Lukashenko said.

According to the Belarusian president, Minsk and Moscow have announced in public about the training drills in the wake of an escalation, which "first and foremost emanates from Ukraine."

"However, the escalation is not only in Ukraine, as the Middle East is already on fire, with Iran nearby, and further on into the Pacific region," Lukashenko added, assuming that the world is "closer than ever to a nuclear disaster."

"These are weapons of deterrence, as they say, but you should realize that we, Belarus and Russia, have them exceptionally as the weapons of deterrence," the president said.

Lukashenko is convinced that Belarus and Russia want peace.

"We do not want to go to war and do not want Ukraine to be a springboard for attack. And you believe, only on Russia? There will be nothing left of us. That is why we are together with Russia, not only because we are de jure allies," he said, adding that Belarus has also aircraft capable of carrying nuclear warheads, trained pilots, and Iskander missiles.

"We tell them (the West - TASS): ‘Keep calm, as we have everything needed’," he said.

Lukashenko recalled that it was his initiative to hold a joint training drill with tactical nuclear weapons.

"As for us, the Belarusians, it was my initiative. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin said about this, and I called him: ‘Look, we have to get synchronized in this matter’," he said. "There was one goal to see how a leading nuclear power does this. We are learning."

Belarus is joining the exercise in the second stage, while the results of the training drills will be summarized after the third stage, the president said.

"We have no intention of attacking anyone, but everyone should understand that we are good at this," Lukashenko said.

It was previously reported that the General Staffs of Belarus and Russia were conducting drills for the joint regional grouping of forces to practice the use of non-strategic nuclear weapons for the first time.