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01 December 2021, 17:30

Lukashenko: All the launch sites for Topol missiles have been preserved and are ready for use

MINSK, 1 December (BelTA) – All the launch sites for Topol missiles have been preserved and are ready for use. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the relevant statement in an interview with Dmitry Kiselyov, Director General of the Russian state news agency MIA Rossiya Segodnya, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Why did I become an enemy for the West? Not because I am a dictator and the rest but because all the sites but one where [road-mobile ground-based strategic missile systems] Topol used to be have been preserved and are still ready for use. You know how the West reacts to nuclear weapons and other things.”

According to the Belarusian leader, the first president of Russia Boris Yeltsin wanted him to blow up these sites. “Because the West and Americans had been pressuring him and he was pressuring me,” Aleksandr Lukashenko explained.

“I refused. But when the pressure was extraordinary, I'll have you know (I can prove it and show it), we blew up one launch site. In a forest,” he said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that these launch sites are colossal structures and include special weapon shelters. “They were kept fully inside these sheltered storage facilities. I've preserved it all. And Americans and westerners have been constantly asking me why. I have not responded to these questions up till now,” the president stated.

Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded about the Budapest memorandum, which was signed in 1994 and stipulated among other things that Belarus voluntarily relinquishes nuclear weapons in exchange for certain security guarantees.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “I personally signed it although it was not my creation. I would never have gone for it were it not for the previous government before me. It was my first year in the presidential office. Were it not for that government, which had created this international agreement. I signed it after the fact, it had been initialed, and so on. Moreover, I did not remove nuclear weapons from Belarus for several years after that. Do you know why I removed them? I've been keeping them in Belarus in violation of the agreement. You won't believe, I did that not only upon demands of Americans. But primarily due to severe pressure from Yeltsin and the entire team that existed back then.”

BelTA previously quoted Aleksandr Lukashenko as saying during the interview that Russian nuclear weapons may be deployed in Belarus. The Belarusian head of state was asked about a recent statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg regarding the possible deployment of nuclear weapons in Eastern Europe. Aleksandr Lukashenko responded by saying: “Yes. Then I will suggest that Putin should return nuclear weapons to Belarus.”

“What nuclear weapons?” Dmitry Kiselyov asked Aleksandr Lukashenko to clarify.

The head of state said: “We will agree on what kind. The nuclear weapons that will be most effective in such an engagement. I said for a reason that we in Belarus' territory are ready for it. As a thoughtful landlord I haven't destroyed anything [of the USSR infrastructure for nuclear weapons], all the depots remain in place.”

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