Putin says Russia delivered part of nuclear warheads to Belarus
Russian leader Vladimir Putin says that Russia has transferred part of its nuclear weapons to Belarus. The rest will be transferred by the end of the year
He made the statement during a speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
"The first nuclear charges have been delivered to the territory of Belarus, but these are only the first ones. By the end of the summer, by the end of the year, we will complete this work. This is an element of deterrence, so that all those who are planning to inflict a strategic attack on us keep in mind this circumstance," Putin said.
He further stated that Russia may theoretically launch nuclear weapons in the event of a threat to its existence. Putin also claims that Russia has more nuclear weapons than NATO countries.
"Russia has more nuclear weapons than NATO countries, and they want us to reduce them - screw them," the Russian leader stated.
Russia's nuclear weapons
On March 25, Russian leader Vladimir Putin said that a storage facility for Russian tactical nuclear weapons would be built in Belarus by July.
On March 31, self-proclaimed President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that Belarus could host strategic nuclear weapons if necessary.
In April, the Russian Defense Ministry announced the transfer of Iskanders, which can carry nuclear weapons, to Belarus. And in late May, the Belarusian army held exercises during which it practiced striking with Iskanders.
On June 14, the Belarusian leader said that nuclear weapons from Russia started to arrive in Belarus. He emphasized that Belarus would launch them only in case of a direct threat to his country.
Tactical nuclear weapons are small nuclear warheads and delivery systems designed for use on the battlefield or for a limited strike. They are designed to destroy enemy targets in a specific area without causing massive radioactive fallout. Strategic nuclear weapons have a greater radius of destruction and are delivered by cruise and ballistic missiles and aircraft.