December 18, 2021 10:40 p.m.
The Belarusian Foreign Ministry has also spoken out in favor of stationing Russian nuclear weapons on its territory. The announcement comes shortly after the publication of the Russian security treaty offer to NATO and the US.
Belarus is considering the possibility of deploying nuclear weapons on its territory in the event of a NATO threat. The Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makej said in an interview with the broadcaster RT Arabic. The minister pointed out that the alliance’s military activities and the number of military exercises have increased significantly and are taking place in the immediate vicinity of the Belarusian borders. He has also criticized NATO activities in Ukraine:
“We see that Ukraine is now being used by the North Atlantic Alliance to create a certain bridgehead against Russia, we see that the number of US and NATO troops in Ukraine is increasing.”
After the collapse of the USSR, ICBMs and nuclear warheads were stored in the former Soviet republic for only a short time. In July 1993, Minsk signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and became the first state to renounce the possession of nuclear weapons. The withdrawal of nuclear weapons was fully completed in November 1996.
However, this could now be the end of it – if tensions between NATO and Russia continue to grow. By the end of November, the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko signaled his readiness to station nuclear weapons in Belarus. In doing so, however, he was reacting to the plan by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to install such systems in Poland.
“Germany can of course decide whether there will be nuclear weapons in its country. But the alternative is that we end up having nuclear weapons in other countries in Europe, including those east of Germany,” said Stoltenberg.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described the possibility brought up by Lukashenko as a warning.
“I would take this statement as a very serious warning, mainly due to the ruthless policies of the West,” Lavrov said in his speech to the Russian Federation Council.
Russia submitted a far-reaching catalog of demands to the USA and NATO on Wednesday, aimed at the creation of a new security architecture in the entire region. It was published on Friday. In the introductory part of the draft treaty with the United States, Russia proposed anchoring the principle of any avoidance of the unleashing of a nuclear war.
The renewed warning from the Belarusian foreign minister could therefore also be coordinated with the Russian side this time. On Saturday, two Russian Tu-22MZ long-range bombers suitable for nuclear weapons carried out a patrol flight in Belarusian airspace, which can also be understood as a signal to the NATO leadership.
In an atmosphere characterized by mutual warnings and threats, however, the new federal government could become a de-escalating voice. The coalition agreement between the SPD, the Greens and the FDP says about “disarmament, arms control, arms exports”:
“We need a disarmament policy offensive and want to take a leading role in strengthening international disarmament initiatives and non-proliferation regimes, including the Stockholm Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament.”
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will be traveling to Stockholm for the disarmament conference next Tuesday. In the Swedish capital, the Green politician wants to take part in deliberations of the so-called Stockholm Initiative at ministerial level, in which a total of 16 nuclear-weapon-free countries have been campaigning for nuclear disarmament since 2019.
more on the subject – More peace? The coalition agreement points in the opposite direction