MOSCOW (AA): Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus will start in July.
Speaking at a meeting with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko in Sochi, Putin said the construction of special facilities necessary for the deployment is scheduled to be completed by July 7-8.
“On the most sensitive issues that we have agreed on, everything is going according to plan. As you know, the preparation of the relevant facilities ends on July 7-8, and we will immediately begin activities related to the deployment of the relevant types of weapons on your territory,” he said.
In late May, Russian and Belarusian defense ministers signed an agreement on the deployment of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus, which stipulates terms for keeping them in a special storage facility.
Earlier this year, Putin announced that Russia will deploy tactical nuclear weapons and complete the construction of a special storage facility for them in neighboring Belarus.
Putin said the move was in response to growing security risks, stressing that Moscow followed the US, which deployed its tactical nuclear arms in European countries.