Belarus’ president has issued a warning that if the Kremlin fears collapse, it may use nuclear weapons.
President Alexander Lukashenko asserted that both his nation and Russia were directly threatened by an attack from the West during a yearly speech to MPs and other authorities in Belarus.
Take my word for it; I have never lied to you, the leader of Belarus stated.
The West is ready to attack Belarus and overthrow our government.
He continued, “It is impossible to defeat a nuclear power,” declining to offer any proof for these assertions.
‘If the Russian leadership understands that the situation threatens to cause Russia’s disintegration, it will use the most terrible weapon.’
Mr Lukashenko’s address comes after President Vladimir Putin announced plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.
This would mark the first time Moscow has deployed such missiles outside Russian borders since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.
Concerns have also been raised these weapons may be accompanied by missiles capable of making intercontinental strikes at some point in the future.
A longstanding ally of the Kremlin, Belarus has not formally entered the war in Ukraine, which has lasted for more than a year and seen thousands killed and millions displaced.
It has nevertheless provided a crucial launchpad for Russian military forces engaged in the conflict, while also regularly conducting joint military training exercises with Russian troops.
Mr Lukashenko’s statements also come after an analyst with Ukraine’s presidential research group said the Russian president has been left in a ‘desperate’ situation by the failures of the Russian invasion so far.
Mykola Bielieskov, a research fellow at the National Institute for Strategic Studies under Volodymyr Zelensky, said today: ‘Ukraine is the biggest failure in [Putin’s] career, when he wanted his biggest achievement to be a new Russian empire.’
Mr Bielieskov added that with the continued support of Western allies, it is conceivable that Ukraine may be able to drive Kremlin troops out of occupied territories as early as the second or third quarter of this year.