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Putin Seeks to Involve Belarus in Nuclear Drills

During his visit to Belarus, Russia’s self-proclaimed President Vladimir Putin intends to discuss with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko the potential involvement of the Belarusian military in Russia’s non-strategic nuclear drills.

Putin’s arrival in Belarus on May 23 marked the beginning of a two-day visit, part of a series of recent foreign visits that included a visit to China the previous week.

Upon landing in Minsk, Putin expressed his intention to address “security matters” with Lukashenko, including Belarus’s potential participation in the nuclear trainings.

In early May, the Russian Defense Ministry announced plans to conduct drills involving tactical nuclear weapons in response to what it described as “provocative statements” from Western sources.

“We will discuss the second phase of the exercises, which will involve direct participation from our Belarusian colleagues in the military sphere,” Putin stated during his visit to Minsk.

Belarus has also recently conducted tests to assess its nuclear readiness. On May 7, the country’s Defense Ministry announced an inspection of military units capable of deploying tactical nuclear weapons, including Iskander missile systems.

In January 2024, Belarus adopted a new military doctrine that, if approved, would be the first step toward deploying nuclear weapons across the country.

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