Vladimir Putin will hand nuclear weapons to any country that sides with him in his war against Ukraine, according to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
The claims follow news last week that Russia is moving some of its nuclear arsenal into Belarus, which borders Ukraine to the north.
Lukashenko has been a staunch Putin ally, with Belarus used as one of the launching points for Putin’s invasion back in February 2022.
That said, Lukashenko has stopped short of committing boots on the ground to fight alongside Russian forces.
The Belarusian President was recently interviewed by Russian propagandist Pavel Zarubin, with the video released on Sunday (May 28) on Ukrainska Pravda.
In it he said any nations that joined the “Union State” pact with Russia and Belarus will be handed nukes. He called it a “unique chance to unite”.
He said: “If someone is worried… I don’t think [President of Kazakhstan] Kassym Tokayev is worried about this, but if something suddenly happens, then no one minds Kazakhstan and other countries having the same close relations as we have with the Russian Federation.
“It’s very simple. [Countries] should join the union of Belarus with Russia, and that’s it: there will be nuclear weapons for everyone.”
Dr Frank Ledwidge, a senior lecturer in law and strategy at the University of Portsmouth, has said Putin moving nuclear weapons to Belarus doesn’t mean he will use them, but rather he is leveraging the anxiety around nuclear warfare to his advantage.
He told the Daily Star: “This is political messaging, that’s all it is. It may well be that in the summer we hear more about this when the weapons are declared operational or something like that.
“The whole purpose is to remind the West that Russia is a nuclear power, that it’s failure in the south of Ukraine that’s unfolding right now does not represent the totality of Russian power.
“A reminder that ‘we’re still here as a global power and despite the failure of our army we still present a threat to you’. It’s all window dressing.”
Source : DailyStar