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29 May 2024, 13:14

Russian MFA: Russia-Belarus nuclear drills do not violate NPT

Sergey Ryabkov/TASS
Sergey Ryabkov/TASS
MINSK, 29 May (BelTA) - Russian-Belarus tactical nuclear weapon drills do not violate the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) unlike the exercises held by NATO member states, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said, TASS reports.

"Russia and Belarus are integral parts of the Union State and, therefore, we have a common perimeter of military security. Secondly, we have protocols and practices in this sphere differing from NATO’s. Therefore, specifically training measures involving the non-strategic nuclear weapon component do not violate the Non-Proliferation Treaty unlike [NATO’s] Nuclear Sharing joint missions," the senior Russian diplomat said, replying to a corresponding question.

Pursuant to an instruction by President Vladimir Putin, for the purpose of raising the preparedness of the non-strategic nuclear forces for combat objectives, the Russian General Staff had launched preparations for drills of Southern Military District missile formations with the involvement of aircraft and naval forces. The Russian leader said that the exercises to practice the use of non-strategic nuclear weapons is a routine work and that there is nothing unusual about it. He also noted that the exercises will be held in three stages, and Belarus will join Russia in the second stage since non-strategic nuclear weapons have been deployed in Belarus.

Nuclear sharing is a NATO program that envisages placing and keeping the U.S. nuclear arsenal in Europe. It stipulates that member countries without nuclear weapons of their own can host such weapons on their soil and participate in related drills.
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