The Belarusian Defense Minister announced that the country, a close ally of Russia, will present a new military doctrine that for the first time involves the use of nuclear weapons. The AP reports it on his website.
The new doctrine will have to be presented for approval to the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly, a representative body that operates in Belarus in parallel with the Parliament. Belarus had long-range and tactical nuclear weapons when it was part of the Soviet Union, but transferred them to Russia after the collapse of the USSR.
Last year, Moscow sent tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, saying it would retain control over these weapons intended for battlefield use, and with a short range and relatively low yield. It is unclear how the new Minsk doctrine can be applied to Russian weapons.
Security Council Secretary Alexander Volfovich said the deployment of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus was aimed at deterring aggression by NATO member Poland. “Unfortunately, the statements of our neighbors, especially Poland, forced us to strengthen” the military doctrine, Volfovich added, according to the Guardian.
Moscow also used Belarusian territory as a base for sending its troops to Ukraine in February 2022 and maintained its military garrisons and weapons there, although Belarusian troops did not take part in the war in Ukraine.