Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko declared Tuesday that his country had already has received some of Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons and warned that he wouldn’t hesitate to order their use if Belarus faced an act of aggression.
The brash comments from Lukashenko contradicted earlier statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said Russian nuclear weapons would be deployed to Belarus next month and emphasized that they would remain under Moscow’s exclusive control.
Earlier this year, Putin announced the planned deployment of short-range nuclear weapons to Moscow’s neighbor and ally Belarus in a move widely seen as a warning to the West as it stepped up military support for Ukraine.
During his meeting Friday with Lukashenko, Putin said work on building facilities for the weapons would be completed by July 7-8, and they would be moved to Belarusian territory quickly after that.
Lukashenko said Tuesday that “everything is ready” for the Russian nuclear weapons’ deployment, adding that “it could take just a few days for us to get what we had asked for and even a bit more.”