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Belarus to end its non-nuclear-weapon status


Belarus holds referendum to renounce non-nuclear status

The referendum shedding Belarus’ neutral status comes as Russia put nuclear deterrent forces on high alert.  Aljazeera,  27 Feb 2022

Belarus is holding a referendum to adopt a new constitution that would ditch its non-nuclear status, at a time when the country has become a launchpad for Russian troops invading Ukraine.

The vote on Sunday is almost certain to pass under the tightly controlled rule of President Alexander Lukashenko, bringing nuclear weapons back on Belarusian soil for the first time since the country gave them up after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Lukashenko has fallen behind Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military assault on Ukraine after earlier playing an intermediary role between the two neighbours.

Putin on Sunday ordered Russian nuclear deterrent forces put on high alert, in a dramatic escalation of tensions with the West.

Speaking at a polling station, Lukashenko said that he could ask Russia to return nuclear weapons to Belarus.

“If you (the West) transfer nuclear weapons to Poland or Lithuania, to our borders, then I will turn to Putin to return the nuclear weapons that I gave away without any conditions,” Lukashenko said.

The constitutional referendum shedding Belarus’ neutral status opens the way for stronger military cooperation with Russia, which deployed forces to Belarusian territory under the pretext of military drills and then sent them rolling into Ukraine as part of the invasion that began on Thursday.

The amendments will also cement Lukashenko’s 27-year-old grip on power, allowing the president to stay in power until 2035 and giving him lifetime immunity from prosecution once he leaves office………………………….. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/2/27/belarus-holds-referendum-to-renounce-non-nuclear-status

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February 28, 2022 - Posted by | Belarus, weapons and war

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