Belarus: No Need to Deploy Russian Nuclear Weapons


There is no need for deploying Russian tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus even if a real threat emerges for the Russia-Belarus Union State, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Saturday.

"I think there is no need for deploying Russian tactical nuclear weapons in the first-strike area," Lukashenko was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying at the Obuz-Lesnovsky training ground in the Brest Region of western Belarus, where a joint Russian-Belarussian military exercise, code-named Shield of the Union-2006, is being held.

"Russia has enough weapons of that kind, and I think it will not be necessary to bring them to Belarus," he said.

Lukashenko stressed that the political leaders of the two countries "should do their best and use all the resources for ensuring the security of the Union State."

However, a joint air defense system with Russia will only strengthen Belarus' sovereignty and independence, he added.

"CIS countries are completing the creation of a joint air defense system today, but Belarus and Russia already have it," Lukashenko said. "in wartime everything must be controlled from a single center. This is why there is no reason to speak about the loss of sovereignty."

He said Belarus' own air defense system has integrated with the Russian one.

Lukashenko recalled the latest incident with a Lithuanian intruder plane that was forced to land in Belarus. The Belarussian military used Russia's A-50 AWACS-like plane to resolve the incident.

"The support of Russian air defense only strengthens our independence and sovereignty," he said, adding, "Russians reinforce us with new equipment that was demonstrated during the Belarussian-Russian exercise."

The Russian-Belarussian military exercise began in Belarus on June 17. It was designed to coordinate the issues of defense of the Russia-Belarus Union State and test the quality of the united air defense system the two countries are creating.