The Belarusian air force has been upgraded with the capacity to launch nuclear weapons, Russia has claimed.
A select group of Belarus’s ground attack planes have been given the ability to strike with weapons of destruction, effectively being made nuclear-capable, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said today.
“Some of the Belarusian ground attack aircraft have gained the ability to strike at enemy targets with nuclear-armed weapons,” he said during a conference call at the military department.
At a separate meeting, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin, as he spoke of “unbelievable threats”.
During a press conference, he said: “Taking into consideration various developments going on in the world, and not the last factor here is fight against terrorism, we see that the special military operation of the Russian Federation prompted us to have a scrupulous look at law enforcement, military and security services.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu
“As I often say, had this not happened, we would have had to come up with something else to spur ourselves to take action. Thus we had to get the ball rolling.
“Yet, threats are very serious, sometimes unbelievable.”
The strongman added that in addition to the nuclear support, Moscow has also re-equipped his intelligence services.
Russia’s flagship nuclear missile, the Sarmat II
He said that despite the injection of military support, “we are not Gods, we cannot foresee everything”.
“All sorts of b******s come to the surface in our country and yours [Russia], and they side with foreign terrorists. I cannot define them otherwise. This is not intelligence, not counterintelligence, these are our enemies,” Lukashenko said.
It comes the same day that Finland is set to officially become a member of Nato and take its place among the ranks of the world’s biggest security alliance.
Neighbouring Russia has already warned that it will bolster its defences near their joint border if Nato deploys any additional troops or equipment to what will be its 31st member country.
Finland’s blue and white flag is scheduled to be raised among those of its partners outside Nato’s Brussels headquarters.
Finland’s president, foreign and defence ministers will take part in the ceremony which falls on Nato’s own birthday – the 74th anniversary of the signing of its founding Washington Treaty on April 4 1949.
It also coincides with a meeting of the alliance’s foreign ministers.
Turkey became the last Nato member country to ratify Finland’s membership protocol on Thursday. It will hand over the document officially enshrining that decision to US secretary of state Antony Blinken before the ceremony.
Finland will then give Mr Blinken its own final texts, making its membership official.
Alarmed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, Finland applied to join Nato in May 2022, setting aside years of military non-alignment to seek protection under the organisation’s security umbrella.
Neighbouring Sweden also applied but its accession process may take a few months longer.
Finland shares an 832-mile border with Russia, so its entry will more than double the size of Nato’s border with Russia.
The move is a strategic and political blow to Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has long complained about Nato’s expansion towards Russia.
Source : Mirror