(PresidentialDaily.org)- On Monday, the Kremlin said that threats of sanctions against Belarus would not hinder the country’s ambition to place tactical nuclear weapons. After Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed the decision over the weekend, drawing outcry from all across the globe, the Kremlin has released a statement in response.
Putin said that an agreement to place tactical nuclear weapons had been achieved between Russia and Belarus. As warfare weapons, their range is limited compared to intercontinental missiles. There was fear that Russia might increase its attack against Ukraine after this declaration.
Ukrainian advocates in the West quickly responded to the news, criticizing Putin’s move and threatening sanctions against Belarus if it allowed Russia to station nuclear weapons on its soil.
Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, tweeted on Sunday that the possibility of Russian nukes being housed in Belarus would represent an escalation and a danger to Europe’s safety and security.
Belarus still has the power to prevent this, but they haven’t done so. The European Union is ready to strike back with more sanctions.
But, the Kremlin has said that it would not be deterred by the prospect of penalties as retaliation for its conduct in Belarus. On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov assured reporters that Western reaction would not sway Russia’s decision.
According to Peskov, Russia’s plans won’t change even if sanctions are imposed since “such a reaction is unthinkable.”
Putin said, “We are doing what they have been doing for decades,” equating the move to the U.S. stationing nuclear weapons in European countries.
Alarmed by Russia’s move, Ukraine’s authorities issued an appeal to Belarus, begging them not to become a “hostage” of Putin’s regime. The Ukrainian government has also asked the UN to convene an urgent Security Council meeting.
“Ukraine calls to Belarusian society to prevent the fulfillment of the illegal aims surrounding the deployment of nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus,” stated Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday.