Western criticism won’t affect Russia’s plans to station nuclear weapons in Belarus, says Kremlin

Anna Chernova

The Kremlin has maintained its position on storing nuclear weapons in neighboring Belarus, after Western leaders condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans as “dangerous and irresponsible.”

“Obviously, such a reaction cannot affect Russia’s plans,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters Monday.

Putin announced Saturday that Moscow plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, which is among Russia’s closest allies. It helped Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, allowing the Kremlin’s forces to enter the country from the north.

The statement from Putin over the weekend prompted strong reaction in the West. NATO said it is “vigilant” and “closely monitoring the situation,” and Lithuania called for new sanctions against Russia.

The US has downplayed the move, saying there are no indications Russia will use nuclear weapons.

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