The Kremlin said Monday that threats of sanctions against Belarus would not stop its plan to station tactical nuclear weapons in the country, a move that drew international criticism after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the decision over the weekend.
Putin said that Russia had reached an agreement with Belarus to station tactical nuclear weapons, which are meant for use on the battlefield and are shorter-range than intercontinental missiles, raising fears about intensified aggressions against Ukraine.
Western allies of Ukraine immediately responded to the news by criticizing the move by Putin and threatening sanctions against Belarus if it allowed Russia to put nuclear weapons in the country.
“Belarus hosting Russian nuclear weapons would mean an irresponsible escalation & threat to European security,” the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell tweeted on Sunday. “Belarus can still stop it, it is their choice. The EU stands ready to respond with further sanctions.”