Will Russia Deploy Nuclear Weapons in Belarus?

Will Russia Deploy Nuclear Weapons in Belarus?

On Sept. 28, Belarussian Defense Minister Leonid Maltsev repeated his government's warning that U.S. plans to deploy ballistic missile defense (BMD) systems in Poland and the Czech Republic could have "unpredictable consequences" for Eurasian security.

Maltsev's comments, delivered at a press conference after a meeting of the defense ministers of the member states of the Russian-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, have revived concerns that Russia might place nuclear weapons in Belarus as a countermeasure to the U.S. BMD deployments.

Last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov insisted that his government had no plans to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus. The belated denials came a week after Alexander Surikov, the Belarus ambassador to Russia, told the media that current tensions between Moscow and the West could lead Russia and Belarus to deploy nuclear weapons on Belarusian territory to bolster their joint defenses.

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