Europe promised to be ready to introduce new sanctions against Moscow.
The European Union “is ready to respond with more sanctions.” to the agreement between Moscow and Minsk on the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, said on Sunday.
Such a step “would mean an irresponsible escalation and a threat for European security. Belarus can still stop him, it’s their choice,” wrote the Spanish politician on his Twitter account.
For its part, NATO described the measure as “dangerous and irresponsible” and vowed to remain “vigilant” and “monitor the situation closely,” according to an Alliance spokesman. “We have not seen changes in Russia’s nuclear posture that would lead us to adjust ours,” the NATO spokesman was quoted as saying by Die Welt.
In this context, the German Foreign Office also criticized the agreement, noting that it is about a “new attempt at nuclear intimidation”. “President Putin’s comparison with NATO’s nuclear involvement is misleading and cannot serve to justify the step announced by Russia,” the ministry said, adding that Belarus had promised internationally to remain free of nuclear weapons.
Putin: Weapons will be deployed without violating international non-proliferation commitments
In an interview broadcast on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Moscow will deploy tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of his neighboring country. The president specified that the weapons will be deployed without violating international non-proliferation commitments. According to the Russian leader, the reason for such a move was the UK’s statement on the supply of depleted uranium ammunition to Ukraine.
“Even outside the context of these events, of this statement, [el presidente bielorruso, Alexander] Lukashenko has long been raising the issue of the deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus,” Putin stressed, adding that the construction of the warehouse that will house such weapons will end on July 1.
According to the Russian president, there is nothing “unusual” in such an agreement. “First of all, The US has been doing this for decades. They have long been deploying their tactical nuclear weapons in the territories of their allies, the NATO countries, in Europe, in six states. If memory serves me correctly they are Germany, Turkey, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Greece“, he stressed.