Russia's Foreign Ministry lists conditions for withdrawing tactical nuclear weapons from Belarus
Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the hypothetical withdrawal of Russian tactical nuclear weapons from the territory of Belarus would be possible "only if the United States and NATO abandon the destructive course of purposefully undermining the security of Russia and Belarus."
RIA Novosti writes about it.
“Firstly, it's essential to mention that Russia placed its tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus as a reaction to NATO and Washington's nuclear policies, which have been causing instability for a long time in Europe's security,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the CIS countries, Aleksey Polishchuk.
He says this action was taken to protect Belarus' security, and it was seen as a necessary preventive measure.
According to Polishchuk, Belarus will only consider removing the nuclear weapons if the US and NATO change their harmful approach and completely take away American nuclear weapons from Europe, including the related infrastructure.
Russia’s nuclear weapons in Belarus
In mid-March, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the deployment of nuclear weapons in Belarus to intimidate the West and weaken Ukraine's defense.
ISW experts believe that this move is not likely to start a nuclear war, but Putin is trying to exploit the West's fears about it.
After Putin's statement, the Secretary of the National Security Council Danilov said that placing nuclear weapons in Belarus has caused more opposition towards Russia and Putin among Belarusian people. The adviser to the head of the President's Office, Mykhailo Podolyak, noted that with this statement, Vladimir Putin admits that he is afraid of losing the war.
The German Foreign Ministry criticized this move, calling it an attempt to intimidate others.
The International Initiative for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) expressed concern that having Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus could lead to a disaster.
In response, Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs demanded a meeting of the UN Security Council and urged Belarusian society to prevent Russia from committing any harmful actions on their land, as it would make their country a hostage to Moscow.
Russia's Ministry of Defense announced in April that they transferred Iskander missiles to Belarus, capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Belarusian forces also trained with these missiles at the end of May.
Belarusian President Lukashenko stated that nuclear weapons could only be used in response to a direct threat to his country.
He later confirmed that Belarus had started receiving nuclear weapons from Russia but would use them only in case of a direct threat. On June 16, Putin announced that the Russian Federation had transferred part of its nuclear warheads to Belarus. The rest will be transferred by the end of the year.
On 16 June, Putin announced that Russia had transferred part of its nuclear weapons to Belarus. The rest will be transferred by the end of the year.
The chief of Ukraine's Intelligence Kyrylo Budanov believes that Russia hasn't moved any nuclear warheads to Belarus and thinks they won't use nuclear weapons in the conflict with Ukraine.
Polish President Andrzej Duda and NATO leaders expressed concern about the presence of Wagner and Prigozhin PMCs in Belarus and warned against any aggression.
On June 28, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that a clear signal was sent to Moscow and Minsk that "NATO exists to protect every ally."
The Presidents of Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania urged NATO to take action against threats arising from Russia's aggressive actions and the changing situation in Belarus.
The Polish Deputy Minister of National Defense believes that while unlikely, the use of nuclear weapons by Russia cannot be completely ruled out.
Furthermore, Chinese leader Xi Jinping personally warned Putin not to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine to avoid damaging relations with the EU.