NATO, EU blast Russia’s 'dangerous' decision to store nuclear weapons in Belarus

‘Russia must return to compliance and act in good faith,’ says NATO spokesperson

10:06 . 27/03/2023 Monday
File photo

File photo

NATO and the EU on Sunday blasted Russia’s decision to station nuclear weapons in Belarus as dangerous and a violation of nonproliferation practices.

“Russia’s nuclear rhetoric is dangerous and irresponsible. NATO is vigilant, and we are closely monitoring the situation,” NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said on Twitter.

However, she stressed that the alliance has not seen any changes in Russia’s nuclear posture that would lead it to adjust its own and added: “We are committed to protect and defend all NATO allies.”

Lungescu also disputed Moscow’s claim that its move would comply with nuclear nonproliferation principles.

“NATO allies act with full respect of their international commitments. Russia has consistently broken its arms control commitments, most recently suspending its participation in the New START Treaty,” she said.

“Russia must return to compliance and act in good faith,” Lungescu added.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also slammed Moscow’s decision.

Belarus hosting Russian nuclear weapons would mean an escalation and threat to European security, he said, adding that Belarus can still stop the process.

The EU is ready to respond to this move with further measures, Borrell added.

President Putin announced on Saturday that Russia will complete the construction of a special storage facility for tactical nuclear weapons in neighboring Belarus.

Since Russia started the war in neighboring Ukraine 13 months ago, Western leaders and commentators have raised concerns that Moscow might make the conflict nuclear, often based on statements by the Russian side seen by the West as saying that all options are on the table.

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