Danilov: Kremlin holding Belarus as 'nuclear hostage'

Danilov: Kremlin holding Belarus as 'nuclear hostage'

Russian President Vladimir Putin's statement about the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus is a step toward internal destabilization in the country.

Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, said this on Twitter, Ukrinform reports.

"Putin's statement about placing tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus – a step towards internal destabilization of the country – maximizes the level of negative perception and public rejection of Russia and Putin in Belarusian society. The Kremlin took Belarus as a nuclear hostage," Danilov said.

Putin earlier said in an interview on Russian TV on March 25 that Russia intends to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. According to him, the decision to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus was made after the United Kingdom announced its intention to provide Ukraine with ammunition that contains depleted uranium. Such ammunition does not belong to nuclear weapons.

The White House said the U.S. would not adjust its own strategic nuclear posture after Putin's statement.

The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) believes that Putin has likely sought to deploy Russian nuclear weapons to Belarus since before the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

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