“There is no indication that they are preparing to use weapons.”

“There is no indication that they are preparing to use weapons.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday called Russia’s shipment of tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus a “provocation,” but urged caution and ruled out a nuclear response by Washington.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and in a cautious manner. We have no reason to readjust our nuclear policy. There is no indication that Russia is preparing to use the weapons,” the head of U.S. diplomacy told a press conference.

U.S. President Joe Biden is committed to defending “every inch” of NATO territory, he stressed.

Blinken opined that the shipment of such weaponry is a new “provocation” and an “irresponsible decision” by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who is ceding sovereignty to his neighboring country.

In addition, he said. it is “ironic” that Russian President Vladimir Putin is deploying tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus when one of the pretexts he used for the invasion of Ukraine was precisely to prevent Kiev from developing an atomic weapon.

The secretary of state recalled that both Ukraine and Belarus. voluntarily surrendered their nuclear weapons when the Soviet Union disintegrated.

Putin announced Friday that the first tactical nuclear weapons have already arrived in Belarus in a process that will end with their deployment in the neighboring country by the end of the year at the latest.

The defense ministers of Russia, Sergey Shoigu, and Belarus, Viktor Khrenin, signed in late May in Minsk the documents regulating the storage of non-strategic nuclear weapons in the territory of the former soviet republic.

The head of the Kremlin reiterated Friday that he has already said on numerous occasions that nuclear weapons can only be used by Russia if there is a threat to the territorial integrity, independence, sovereignty and existence of the Russian state.

Kayleigh Williams