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Polish President says Russia Moving Tactial Nukes to Belarus

Ukraine Crisis

Photo by praszkiewicz/Shutterstock.com

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said Tuesday that Russia already is in the process of shifting some short-range nuclear weapons to neighboring Belarus, a move that Duda said will shift the security architecture of the region and the entire NATO military alliance, reported the Associated Press.

Both Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko said last month that Moscow already had shipped some of its tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus after announcing the plan in March.

The US and NATO haven’t confirmed the move. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg denounced Moscow’s rhetoric as “dangerous and reckless,” but said in July that the alliance hadn’t seen any change in Russia’s nuclear posture.

Tactical nuclear weapons are intended for use on the battlefield and have a short range and a low yield compared with much more powerful nuclear warheads fitted to long-range missiles. Russia said it would maintain control over those it sends to Belarus.

Duda made his comments at a joint news conference with visiting Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. Duda gave no details, but said that in an “obvious way it is changing the architecture of security in our part of Europe”.

Lukashenko says that hosting Russian nuclear weapons in his country is meant to deter aggression by NATO member Poland, even though Warsaw has made no such threats.

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