• Minsk and Moscow “will stop at nothing” to protect their people, Alexander Lukashenko has said

MINSK (News Agencies): Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko mulled the possibility of his nation hosting Russia’s strategic nuclear weapons during an annual address to parliament on Friday. His words came as Moscow announced its plans to deploy its tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus.
“I and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin can decide and deploy strategic nuclear weapons here, if need be,” Lukashenko told lawmakers, adding that the move would show the two nations’ readiness to defend their “sovereignty and independence.”
“We will stop at nothing to protect our nations, our states, our people,” the Belarusian leader said, adding that the move would likely serve as an effective deterrent against any hostile moves by the US and its allies. The Belarusian president expressed his hope that strategic nuclear weapons deployment to his country would “sober up all the hawks across the pond for a long time.”
Lukashenko also said he had already ordered the military to restore the facilities used to store Topol intercontinental ballistic missiles and served as their potential launch sites in Soviet times. According to the president, Belarus kept all the facilities, which he called “complex engineering structures.”
Russia currently uses Topol-M and Yars intercontinental ballistic missiles – upgraded versions of the Soviet-made Topol missiles developed in the 1980s. The missiles could be silo-based or placed on mobile, self-propelled wheeled platforms. Some of the mobile versions of the original Topol missiles were deployed to Belarus during the Soviet era.

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