The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine called on the G7 and European Union member states to warn the Belarusian government about the far-reaching consequences for the Republic of Belarus if it agrees to deploy Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons on its territory. Ukraine also urged to immediately convene an extraordinary meeting of the UN Security Council. Ukraine also appealed to Belarusian society to prevent the realization of Putin’s criminal intentions.
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov, said that the Kremlin “has taken Belarus as a nuclear hostage.”
“Putin's statement on the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus - a step towards the internal destabilization of the country - maximizes the level of negative perception and public rejection of Russia and Putin in the Belarusian society. The Kremlin took Belarus as a nuclear hostage," the NSDC secretary emphasized.
Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, believes that the Russian president admits his previous defeats with this step.
“Putin (Russia) is very predictable. By making a statement on tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, he admits that he is scared, he is losing and all he can do is to scare with tactics. And second: he once again records his participation in committing a crime. Violating the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons...” he wrote.
Putin makes Belarus a “scapegoat”
Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to use Belarus to intimidate the West, but he did not announce the specific terms of deploying nuclear weapons.
Oleksiy Yizhak, Head of the Department at the National Institute of Strategic Studies, an expert on international security, expressed this opinion on the Freedom channel.
“It looks like, first of all, Putin does not feel sorry for Belarus, he is ready to make it a scapegoat just in case, and to use it for intimidation. If Putin had said he would move nuclear weapons to the borders of Ukraine, it would have been relatively honest of him that he was preparing for a nuclear war. But he said it wasn’t him who was preparing, it was Lukashenko who asked him and they prepared such a possibility. It is unknown when it will be implemented," the expert said.
Yizhak reminded that “Putin did not say when and how it would happen”:
"All he said was that from July 1 there will be technical readiness for Russian tactical nuclear weapons to appear in Belarus. It is unknown when it will appear or if it will appear at all. Neither did he say under what conditions. He even didn’t say for which aircraft it is intended."
In his opinion, the statement of the President of the Russian Federation was caused by the fact that he remained dissatisfied with the talks with Xi Jinping:
"They signed a joint statement on partnership, where it is clearly written that all nuclear powers must not deploy nuclear weapons outside their national territories. However, just four days after, he declared that he was ready to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus... That is, he didn't receive sufficient Chinese aid."
Nuclear blackmail is the last trump card of the Russian Federation
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Volodymyr Ohryzko believes that Putin’s nuclear blackmail is “really the last chance for Russia to try to turn the situation in its favor.”
"This is an attempt to say that 'look, we can do such a thing'. Although military specialists, who look at the situation professionally, clearly state that this will not happen, because this step will mean, first of all, the end of those people who will do this," Ohryzko says.
In his opinion, Putin's words are related to the critical situation for Moscow on the battlefield:
"The offensive, so loudly trumpeted by Russia, has petered out. There are no results on the battlefield. On the contrary, there are clear confirmations that the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Resistance Forces are concentrating their capabilities, and this spring will release one day."
Belarus is becoming a nuclear power
Military expert Oleh Zhdanov emphasized that placing nuclear weapons in Belarus is a direct violation of theTreaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
"It turns out that Belarus is becoming a nuclear state, albeit indirectly. I understand that Lukashenko surrendered and allocated land for a Russian military base in Belarus. And Russia is building a storage facility for nuclear weapons there. Nuclear weapons will be under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation, but located in Belarus. This means that NATO countries will include Belarus in the list of adversaries," he said.
According to him, Putin is trying to escalate the situation.
"This story is not about us. This story is about NATO. It makes no sense to use tactical nuclear weapons (from Belarus) against us. There is a swampy area, Polissia. And tactical weapons will not reach far," the expert explained.
Zhdanov does not rule out that Putin's statement will remain just words.
"This is just a statement unless nuclear weapons cross the Russian-Belarusian border," he noted.
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