Last Friday (6/9/23), Presidents Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin of Belarus and Russia respectively held a meeting in which it was revealed that Russia would begin stationing nuclear arms in Belarus upon the preparatory work of necessary equipment is done, projected to be finished in early July.

In the televised segment of the meeting, President Putin conveyed his contentment with the advancements, remarking, “Everything is proceeding according to our plan.” Additionally, he revealed that the necessary arrangements for the designated nuclear facilities would be completed by July 7th or 8th. This timely completion would facilitate the prompt commencement of deployment operations within Belarus.

Tension between Russia and Ukraine has reached a boiling point, prompting an extraordinary occurrence. Ukrainian troops have initiated an offensive to reclaim their southern and eastern territories, which were previously occupied.

President Lukashenko acknowledged the prevailing global sanctions imposed on Belarus and Russia, emphasizing the importance of anticipating their persistence. In his words, Lukashenko was skeptical, indicating that there was no expectation of the removal of sanctions. It is futile to even discuss it. He emphasized the significance of self-reliance as a crucial approach to dealing with adversities.

An arrangement was previously formed between Russia and Belarus about installing land-based nuclear weapons of a tactical nature in Belarus. Notably, Belarus shares a substantial land border with Ukraine. These missiles will fall under the command of Russia. Since the initiation of Russia’s comprehensive invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Belarus has functioned as a staging area for Russian forces.

The Biden administration has consistently voiced its criticism of Russia’s declared plan since it was first unveiled. A spokesperson from the National Security Council reiterated this position by describing Belarus’ leader’s decision as a sequence of irresponsible and provocative choices.

As noted by multiple sources, if President Putin accomplishes his plans, it will be the first instance of Russian tactical nuclear weapons being stationed outside Russian boundaries since the USSR dissolved in 1991.