The first shipment of nuclear warheads has been delivered to Belarus, said Russian president Vladimir Putin at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
"We will move some of the tactical weapons to Belarusian territory. The first nuclear warheads have already been delivered to the territory of Belarus. By the end of the summer, we will complete this work in full. This is an element of deterrence," Putin said.
Putin also said that Russia does not yet need to use nuclear weapons, but the authorities will not reduce their number:
"Nuclear weapons are created in order to ensure our security and the existence of the Russian state. Firstly, we do not have such a need (to use it), and secondly, the very fact of discussions on this topic already lowers the threshold for the use of these weapons. We have more such weapons than NATO countries. They know about it and all the time we are persuaded to start negotiations on reductions. To hell with them!" said the Russian president.
On May 25, the self-proclaimed president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, said that Russian nuclear weapons began to be delivered to Belarus. Lukashenko told journalists that Putin "informed him that today he signed a decree on steps to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus. That is, it was about a specific document. "We had to prepare storage locations and so on. We have done this, so the shipment of nuclear weapons has already begun," Lukashenka said.
In March, Vladimir Putin announced that a storage facility for tactical nuclear weapons would be built in Belarus. According to him, Russia has "hundreds of thousands" of depleted uranium shells.