On Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that the Russian tactical nuclear weapons that have been placed on Belarusian territory will be stationed in Belarus indefinitely, although under Moscow's control.
Both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko confirmed last week that the first set of tactical nukes has been delivered to Belarus. The weapons were delivered as part of Russia's response to 'aggressive policies' from NATO. Moscow announced the deployment of the nukes months ago after the UK said that it would send depleted uranium shells to Kyiv.
According to Russian Foreign Ministry official Alexei Polishchuk, the decision to send nuclear weapons to Belarus was a necessary "forced response" to NATO and its Western allies getting more involved in the Ukraine war and providing heavier equipment and munitions, including tanks.
Polishchuk noted that "unlike American warheads in Europe" Moscow's tactical nukes will be located close to Russia's borders.
The official also explained that the nukes can be recalled from Belarus at any time should a brisk de-escalation occur, however, Polishchuk noted that "Moscow would only consider such an option if the U.S. eliminated its own nuclear infrastructure in Europe."
"Of course, such a step on our part would have to be preceded by the complete withdrawal of all American nuclear weapons back to U.S. territory and by the elimination of all relevant infrastructure in Europe," he added.
Meanwhile, in March Putin stated that Moscow was not transferring nuclear weapons to Belarus, but rather was simply doing what the U.S. has been doing for decades.
Due to its participation in NATO's nuclear sharing mission, the U.S. has nuclear warheads currently located in 5 non-nuclear weapon states, which include Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Italy, and Netherlands, a ZeroHedge report noted.