President Vladimir Putin announced on Saturday that Russia has struck a deal with neighboring Belarus to station tactical nuclear weapons on its territory. The move comes as the Belarusian regime, a firm Kremlin ally, continues to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Putin emphasized that this decision would not violate nuclear non-proliferation agreements and compared it to the United States stationing its weapons in Europe, according to Russian state media.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had long raised the issue of stationing tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, which borders Poland. Putin told state television that there is nothing unusual in this decision, as the United States has been deploying its tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of its allied countries for decades.

Russia will complete the construction of a storage facility for tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus by July 1, Putin said. He added that Moscow would not be transferring control of the arms to Minsk. Russia has already stationed ten aircraft in Belarus capable of carrying tactical nuclear weapons and transferred a number of Iskander tactical missile systems, which can be used to launch nuclear weapons.

Source: The Print, BBC