Russia has no plan to deploy nuclear arms in Belarus, says diplomat

MOSCOW, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Russia will not deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus in response to U.S. missile defense plans in central Europe, the RIA Novosti news agency quoted the Russian Ambassador to Belarus as saying Wednesday.

An array of counter measures would be devised in retaliation to the U.S. plans, but there would be "no return of nuclear weapons to Belarus," Ambassador Alexander Surikov said.

However, he did not rule out the possibility of deploying Iskander missile systems and strategic bombers in the neighboring country.

"When Poland signs a treaty with the United States on the deployment of missile defense elements, we will be in a position to discuss some additional aspects of military cooperation with Belarus," Surikov said.

Last year, Washington proposed to establish an anti-ballistic missile shield in central and eastern Europe, including interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic.

Moscow has repeatedly objected to the plans, saying it would undermine regional strategic balance and threaten its national interests, while warning that it would take counter measures.

Washington says the plans are only precautions against possible missile attacks from Iran.



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