Moscow comments on the transfer of nuclear technology to its main ally
Russia does not plan to give Belarus the know-how to modify its planes to carry nuclear missiles, a senior diplomat has said
Russia has no plans to give Belarus the technology that would allow it to modify its military aircraft to carry nuclear weapons, a senior Russian diplomat said on Friday.
Speaking to the UN General Assembly’s First Committee, which deals with arms control and security issues, Konstantin Vorontsov, deputy head of the Russian delegation, expressed concern that the NATO is bringing its nuclear infrastructure closer to the Russian border.
The Moscow envoy noted that Poland was recently considering full involvement in nuclear missions.
« These activities from Warsaw have been considerably reinforced. This is taken into consideration by Belarus and Russiahe said, adding that allied countermeasures fully comply with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
The diplomat said these measures include the transfer of Russian Iskander-M systems, which are armed with conventional missiles, to Belarus.
Vorontsov said another measure would be to equip some Belarusian SU-25 aircraft with the means to carry nuclear weapons, but that « the transfer of technologies to equip such weapons is not on the agenda.”
He explained that Russia does not plan “to physically equip Belarusian systems with nuclear warheads, nor to transfer these warheads to Belarusian territory.He stressed that Moscow also has no intention of establishing nuclear weapons storage facilities in Belarus.
The diplomat went on to say that Russia will closely monitor NATO policies, especially after Poland suggested hosting US nuclear weapons on its territory. « It will be a very destabilizing stage, it is obviousVorontsov warned.
In late August, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Minsk had completed preparing some of its military aircraft to carry nuclear weapons. He had asked for Russia’s help in this regard during a meeting with President Vladimir Putin in late June, when he expressed concern over Poland’s demands for the United States to deploy tactical nuclear weapons on his ground.