Title: Belarus President Lukashenko Warns of Nuclear Weapons Response to Potential Aggression
As tensions continue to escalate in Eastern Europe, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has stated that his country would use nuclear weapons provided by Russia in response to foreign aggression. Lukashenko’s remarks have raised concerns internationally, particularly due to Belarus’ involvement in Russia’s ongoing conflict in Ukraine and joint military drills with Russia.
In June, reports emerged that Russian nuclear warheads had been delivered to Belarus for “deterrence” purposes. While Lukashenko claims that Belarus would not intervene in the war unless Ukrainians crossed its border, he warns that any provocation from NATO countries like Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia would elicit a nuclear response from his nation.
Although the exact extent of Russia’s nuclear arsenal transported to Belarus remains unclear, US and Western officials have not publicly refuted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim. Furthermore, senior officials from the US Defense Intelligence Agency suggest that Lukashenko would likely have no control over the nuclear arsenal, as it would be under Russian control.
The situation in Belarus has only worsened with the presence of the Russian mercenary group Wagner. Reports indicate their movement towards the Polish-Lithuanian border, causing neighboring countries to take defensive measures. Poland has deployed 10,000 troops to its border with Belarus and recently detained two Russians accused of spying for Wagner. Lithuania has also temporarily suspended operations at two border checkpoints due to concerns about the Wagner forces.
Lukashenko vehemently denies claims that Putin has been weakened by the failed Wagner mutiny, going as far as stating that it was his idea to have the Wagner fighters deployed in Belarus. He further warns that Russia will not relinquish its control over the illegally annexed Crimean territory, claiming that Ukrainians are being pushed by Americans and are unwilling to negotiate.
In light of Lukashenko’s warnings and the escalating tensions in the region, there are growing calls for Belarus to be included in peace talks regarding the conflict in Ukraine. Lukashenko argues that Belarus has its own interests and position in the conflict, necessitating its involvement in negotiations.
As Europe keeps a watchful eye on developments in Eastern Europe, the potential use of nuclear weapons and the involvement of Belarusian troops in the war remain pressing concerns. The international community awaits further updates and diplomatic efforts in order to de-escalate the situation and prevent further acts of aggression.