President Vladimir Putin has stated that Russia will station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.
According to Russian state media, President Putin stated that the move would not violate nuclear non-proliferation treaties and compared it to the US stationing its weapons in Europe.
Moscow would not hand over control of its weapons to Minsk, he added.
Belarus is a staunch Kremlin ally and supporter of the Ukrainian invasion.
On Saturday, President Putin told Russian state television that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had long raised the issue of tactical nuclear weapons stationing in Belarus.
“There’s nothing out of the ordinary here, either,” he added. “For starters, the US has been doing this for decades. They have long stationed tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of their allies.”
President Putin added that Russia will have completed the construction of a tactical nuclear weapons storage facility in Belarus by July 1.
According to him, a small number of Iskander tactical missile systems capable of launching nuclear weapons have already been transferred to Belarus.