Poland, a NATO member state, was outraged after Russia deployed its nuclear weapons to Belarus. Photo/REUTERS
WARSAW – Polish President Andrzej Duda confirmed on Tuesday that Russia had transferred several short-range nuclear weapons to Belarus.
Outraged by Moscow’s move, the president of the NATO country said the deployment of nuclear weapons would change the security architecture of the region and the entire NATO military alliance.
Both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said last month that Moscow had delivered several of its tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus after announcing the plans in March. The US and NATO have yet to confirm Putin’s move.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg denounced Moscow’s rhetoric as a “dangerous and reckless” move, but said in July the alliance saw no change in Russia’s nuclear posture.
Tactical nuclear weapons are intended for use on the battlefield and have a short range and low yield compared to the much more powerful nuclear warheads mounted on long-range missiles. Russia said it would retain control of the weapons it sent to Belarus.
Officials in Moscow and Minsk said the nuclear warheads could be carried by Belarusian Su-25 ground attack jets or mounted on short-range Iskander missiles.
Duda made his comments at a joint news conference with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa who is visiting Warsaw.
“I informed the President (de Sousa) about the implementation of Vladimir Putin’s declaration that Russian tactical nuclear weapons were transferred to Belarusian territory,” Duda said, as quoted by AP, Wednesday (23/8/2023).
“It’s true, this process is ongoing, we are seeing it.”