EU, NATO CONDEMNS PUTIN NUCLEAR THREATS
March 26, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to lay tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus for training purposes.
In a statement, the ministry called on the U.K., China, the U.S., and France to take decisive action against the Kremlin’s nuclear intimidation tactics.
“Ukraine calls on all members of the world community to take a firm stance and strongly reject another nuclear provocation by Putin’s criminal regime and to take decisive measures to effectively deter and prevent any possible use of nuclear weapons,” the ministry said.
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Putin claimed on March 25 that his country Russia intends to place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus due to the U.K. Defense Ministry’s recent move to supply Ukraine with ammunition containing depleted uranium.
The Russian leader further threatened that aircraft and an Iskander missile system that can carry nuclear weapons are already in Belarus, arguing that it is no different from “the U.S. and Europe” placing their weapons on ally’s soil.
Moscow plans to finish the construction of a tactical nuclear weapons storage facility in Belarus by the beginning of July.
“We are not transferring our tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, but we will deploy them and train the military, like the United States in Europe,” Putin said in an interview with a Russian state-controlled news outlet.
The West met Putin’s announcement with criticism, calling his nuclear rhetoric “dangerous and irresponsible.”
“Russia’s reference to NATO’s nuclear sharing is totally misleading. NATO allies act with full respect of their international commitments,” a NATO spokesperson told Reuters in emailed comments.
The NATO spokesperson also accused Moscow of “consistently breaking its arms control commitments,” referring to the recent suspension of participation in the New START Treaty with the U.S.