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Ukraine official: Putin taking Belarus as ‘nuclear hostage’

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KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s high safety official on Sunday denounced the Kremlin’s plans to station tactical atomic weapons in Belarus, saying that Russia was taking its ally as a “nuclear hostage.”

However Moscow stated it was making the transfer in response to the West’s rising navy help for Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin introduced the plan in a tv interview that aired on Saturday, saying it was triggered by a U.Okay. resolution this previous week to offer Ukraine with armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium.

Putin argued that by deploying its tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, Russia was following the lead of america. He famous that Washington has nuclear weapons based mostly in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.

“We’re doing what they’ve been doing for many years, stationing them in sure allied nations, getting ready the launch platforms and coaching their crews,” he stated.

Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s Nationwide Safety and Protection Council, tweeted Sunday that Putin’s announcement was “a step in the direction of inner destabilization” of Belarus that maximized “the extent of unfavorable notion and public rejection” of Russia and Putin in Belarusian society. The Kremlin, Danilov added, “took Belarus as a nuclear hostage.”

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On Saturday, Putin argued that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has lengthy requested to have nuclear weapons in his nation once more to counter NATO. Belarus shares borders with three NATO members — Latvia, Lithuania and Poland — and Russia used Belarusian territory as a staging floor to ship troops into neighboring Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

Each Lukashenko’s help of the struggle and Putin’s plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus has been denounced by the Belarusian opposition.

Tactical nuclear weapons are meant to be used on the battlefield and have a brief vary and a low yield in contrast with way more highly effective nuclear warheads fitted to long-range missiles. Russia plans to take care of management over those it sends to Belarus, and development of storage services for them can be accomplished by July 1, Putin stated.

Russia has saved its tactical nuclear weapons at devoted depots on its territory, and shifting a part of the arsenal to a storage facility in Belarus would up the ante within the Ukrainian battle by inserting them nearer to Russian plane and missiles already stationed there.

The U.S. stated it will “monitor the implications” of Putin’s announcement. Thus far, Washington hasn’t seen “any indications Russia is getting ready to make use of a nuclear weapon,” Nationwide Safety Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson stated.

In Germany, the international ministry known as it a “additional try at nuclear intimidation,” German information company dpa reported late Saturday. The ministry went on to say that “the comparability drawn by President Putin to NATO’s nuclear participation is deceptive and can’t be used to justify the step introduced by Russia.”


Kirsten Grieshaber contributed to this report from Berlin.

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