The announcement that Russia will station nuclear weapons in Belarus has been condemned by CND as increasing ‘nightmare nuclear risk’. The anti-nuclear group has called on Russia and NATO to cease escalating nuclear risk in Europe, stating that deployment of so-called tactical nuclear weapons by NATO and now Russia, significantly increases the risk of nuclear war on the European continent.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that an agreement had been reached with Belarus to station tactical nuclear weapons on Belarusian soil. Putin claimed that the agreement was similar to US nuclear sharing agreements within NATO – and therefore not in violation of nuclear non-proliferation agreements. However neither Russian nor NATO deployments in non-nuclear weapons states are legitimate under international law.

The US stations nuclear weapons across a number of its bases in Europe under the auspices of NATO. Its upgraded nuclear bomb, the B61-12, is reportedly scheduled for deployment this spring. Airbases recently upgraded to store the B61-12 include Lakenheath in Suffolk. Other US airbases where nuclear bombs can be stored and deployed from are in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, and Turkey.

CND General Secretary Kate Hudson said:

“Russia’s announcement that it will deploy nuclear weapons to Belarus is irresponsible in the extreme. It adds to a string of irresponsible moves by nuclear weapons states including the current US deployment of upgraded tactical nuclear weapons to its bases across Europe. That includes the Lakenheath airbase in Suffolk. We are fast approaching the situation where a nuclear war will be fought in Europe. Once again we urge those in possession of nuclear weapons to come to their senses and get rid of these nukes before it’s too late.”

Photo Credit: Russian Presidential office