Russia Not to Deploy Nuclear Weapons in Belarus

Russia does not plan to deploy nuclear weapons on the Belarusian territory, said Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. "Belarus has its [non-nuclear] status fixed by its Constitution. That settles the matter," Lavrov told the reporters.

Alexander Surikov, Russia's ambassador to Belarus, said last week that Moscow would discuss with Minsk the issue of nuclear weapons deployment on Belarus' territory if the Union State is created, as a response to the U.S. deployment of missile defense system elements in Eastern Europe.

Meanwhile, Minsk took calmly the statement of Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. "The issue has not been discussed yet, but you know we have high level of integration with Russia, including that in the military sphere. Moreover, there already are Russian bases on our territory," said the Foreign Ministry of Belarus.

In fact, the Belarusian authorities support the idea of deploying Russia's nuclear weapons in the republic. Minsk is quite uneasy about the growing U.S. military presence in Eastern Europe, and hopes for Russia's support and protection.