(AFP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that he would deploy tactical nuclear weapons to neighbor and ally Belarus.
Putin has repeatedly uttered vaguely veiled threats of the possible use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, reviving Cold War-era fears.
He also said that Kiev would deploy depleted uranium munitions if it received such munitions from the West following a British proposal that it could supply Ukraine.
“There is nothing unusual here either. The United States has been doing this for decades. They have long had tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of allies,” Putin said.
Putin said he had spoken to Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko and said he had “agreed to do the same.”
Asked how Russia would react if the West supplied Ukraine with depleted uranium munitions, Putin said Russia has a large stockpile of weapons.
“Of course, Russia has something to answer. Without exaggerating, there are hundreds of thousands of such shells. We have not used them yet,” Putin added in an interview with Russian television.
Russia threatens to use nuclear weapons… Anyone at the International Criminal Court has requested an arrest warrant for Putin https://t.co/f5PestMcc7
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 24, 2023
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) warns that the nuclear threat creates dangerous uncertainty about its possible use.
The longer Russia’s military operation in Ukraine drags on, the greater the risk of a nuclear attack, ICAN warned last month ahead of the first anniversary of the offensive.
Putin announced last month that Moscow would stop participating in the New START, the final arms control treaty between Russia and the United States, the world’s two major nuclear powers.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has accused Russia of ending a nuclear arms limitation treaty with the United States, signaling the end of the post-Cold War European arms control structure.
The announcement comes after Moscow suspended US inspections of military installations under New START last August.
Putin suspends US nuclear treaty, tells Russians the West ‘want to end us forever’https://t.co/whDVCkn6VQ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 21, 2023
Putin has previously said at a Kremlin meeting that “such a threat is growing” regarding the use of nuclear weapons, but he sidestepped Russia’s policy.
U.S. officials have raised concerns that Russia could use its nuclear weapons if it feels routed on the battlefield, and that it could use fictional stories to justify its actions. has expressed.
Russia has already spoken of Ukraine’s supposed attempt to detonate a “dirty bomb”, with strong denials from Ukraine and sharp condemnation from the United States, which has rarely communicated directly with Russia to warn against nuclear use. pulled out.
Neither the United States nor Russia, by far the largest nuclear arsenal, has an official policy of no first use of super-destructive weapons.
A recent US posture review by President Joe Biden concluded only that nuclear weapons should only be used in “extreme circumstances.”
UN Condemns Potential War Crimes, Summary Executions, Torture of Prisoners of War in Russia and Ukraine https://t.co/0ToxvQvmXu
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 25, 2023