The Ukrainian security chief has voiced alarm about the possible deployment of Russian nuclear weapons in neighboring Belarus, warning that such a move would pose a serious threat to regional security and stability. In a speech delivered at a security conference in Kiev, Valery Zaluzhny said that Russia was planning to station short-range missiles and other nuclear-capable systems in Belarus, potentially putting Ukraine and other nearby countries within the range of a devastating nuclear attack.
The Belarusian-Russian military alliance has a long history, dating back to the Soviet era. In recent years, the two countries have strengthened their cooperation in various fields, including military training, intelligence sharing, and joint military exercises. Russia has also provided Belarus with advanced weapons systems, such as fighter jets and air defense systems, as part of its efforts to bolster its strategic position in the region.
Zaluzhny’s remarks reflect Ukraine’s growing concern over Russia’s military buildup near its borders, which has intensified since the outbreak of the conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2014. Ukraine has accused Russia of arming and supporting separatist rebels in the Donbas region and has called on the international community to impose tougher sanctions on Moscow. Ukraine has also stepped up its own military preparations, modernizing its armed forces and strengthening its alliances with NATO and other partners.
Zaluzhny’s warning has attracted attention from other countries in the region, as well as from the United States and the European Union. Several officials have expressed support for Ukraine’s position while calling on Russia to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbors. Some have also urged Belarus to reconsider its close ties with Russia and to pursue a more independent foreign policy.
Implications for global security
The possible deployment of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus has raised concerns not only among Ukraine and its neighbors but also among the broader international community. Many experts fear that such a move could trigger a new arms race in Europe, and lead to a dangerous escalation of tensions between Russia and the West. Some have called for renewed efforts to promote arms control and disarmament and to reduce the risks of a nuclear war.