Vote sets up Belarus for nuclear weapons

A vote in Belarus has cleared the way for the former Soviet state and current Kremlin ally to get nuclear weapons for the first time since the country gained independence in 1990.

A referendum taken on Sunday approved plans for Belarus to adopt a new constitution that takes out its current non-nuclear status.

The move has serious implications for proliferation, and potentially makes Belarus a staging zone for the Russian assault on Ukraine.

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko tightly controls the country and has closely aligned himself with Putin.

Speaking at a polling station on Sunday, Lukashenko said: “If you [the West] transfer nuclear weapons to Poland or Lithuania, to our borders, then I will turn to Putin to return the nuclear weapons that I gave away without any conditions.”

The referendum also cements Lukashenko’s time in office until 2035. He has been in power since 1994.

Between 1994 and 1996, former Soviet states Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan all agreed to give up nuclear weapons in exchange for security assurances – assurances that have now been broken.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button