Will Russia Deploy Nuclear Weapons Abroad?

World » RUSSIA | February 1, 2024, Thursday // 20:44
Bulgaria: Will Russia Deploy Nuclear Weapons Abroad? @Wikimedia Commons

Amid escalating global tensions, Russia has unequivocally declared its stance on nuclear weapon deployment, affirming that it has no plans to station such arms abroad, with one exception – its ally, Belarus. The announcement came from Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Ryabkov, responsible for arms control, during the BRICS summit.

Last year, President Vladimir Putin revealed the transfer of tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, citing the "increasingly aggressive and threatening activities" of the North Atlantic Alliance and responding to "requests of Lukashenko." Ryabkov reiterated this stance, stating that Russian nuclear weapons would remain indefinitely in Belarus, marking a strategic move in response to geopolitical challenges.

However, leading nuclear researchers at the Federation of American Scientists raised doubts, stating that there is no conclusive evidence about the presence or location of these weapons in Belarus.

In response to questions about potential nuclear deployments outside Belarus, Ryabkov dismissed such possibilities, stating, "Moscow has no such plans." This statement diverges from Ryabkov's stance in 2022 when he did not rule out the deployment of Russian nuclear weapons in countries such as Cuba or Venezuela.

The BRICS summit, consisting of Russia, China, India, Brazil, and South Africa, revealed Russia's geopolitical concerns. Ryabkov pointedly accused the United States of leading an "increasingly aggressive and threatening" NATO, blaming the inclusion of "nuclear-weapon-free" European countries in NATO's nuclear missions.

Ryabkov also addressed recent speculations about the deployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in the UK, stating that Russia will find ways to counter such moves. He dismissed the notion that the reintroduction of nuclear weapons in the UK would serve as a deterrent for Russia.

While both Britain and the United States have yet to confirm the alleged deployment plans, researchers noted renovations at the Suffolk air force base in eastern England – RAF Lakenheath – potentially indicating preparations for storing U.S. weapons.

According to the Federation of American Scientists, five NATO countries – Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey – currently host approximately 100 U.S. tactical nuclear weapons across six bases.

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Tags: Russia, nuclear weapons, Belarus, global

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