Moscow and Minsk have signed a deal to formalize the deployment of Russian tactical nuclear missiles on Belarusian territory.
Russia on Thursday said the step was driven by rising tensions with the West.
“In the context of an extremely sharp escalation of threats on the western borders of Russia and Belarus, a decision was made to take countermeasures in the military-nuclear sphere,” Russia’s state-owned TASS news agency quoted Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying.
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[ Editor’s Note: Moscow has already provided Minsk with nuclear-capable Iskander tactical missile systems as well as re-equipped its military aircraft to carry specialized weapons. As well, Belarusian missile crews and pilots have undergone training in Russia. ]