MINSK WARNS IT MAY KEEP STRATEGIC NUCLEAR MISSILES.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 68
Belarusian first deputy foreign minister Valery Tsepkalo warned April 5 that Minsk might suspend the removal to Russia of strategic nuclear missiles on Belarusian territory if Poland, the Czech Republic, or Hungary — after admission to NATO — were to deploy tactical nuclear weapons on their territories. He did allow, however, that talks on the subject would have to proceed first with Moscow. A day earlier, Belarusian president Aleksandr Lukashenko declined to specify whether Belarus would halt the removal of strategic nuclear weapons, saying only that Minsk would take "adequate" measures if tactical nuclear weapons were deployed in Eastern Europe. (Interfax, April 4 & 5) In January of this year, Lukashenko also threatened to suspend the withdrawal of the 18 SS-25 missiles remaining in Belarus, but officials in Minsk later described his remarks as "hypothetical," while several Russian leaders suggested the threat was not to be taken seriously.
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