Lavrov: Lukashenko's Statement About Russian Nuclear Arms in Belarus is 'Serious Warning' to West

© POOLRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, 30 November 2021
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, 30 November 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.12.2021
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko's statement on the possibility of placing Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus should be taken by the West as a warning, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.
In an interview with RIA Novosti on Tuesday, Lukashenko said Minsk would propose to Moscow to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus if similar NATO systems appear in Poland.
"I would take this statement as a very serious warning, which is dictated, first of all, by the reckless policy pursued by the West," Lavrov told lawmakers.
Russia's top diplomat also said that NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s statement about the possibility of moving nuclear weapons to Eastern Europe is "reckless" and aimed at conflict".

"And then, when this had not yet been finally decided, Mr Stoltenberg said that if Germany did not want to [host nuclear weapons], then we would move nuclear weapons to the east. What else needs to be explained to our Western colleagues so that this kind of, how to put it mildly, recklessness needs to stop?" Lavrov told lawmakers, adding that Stoltenberg’s statement is aggressive.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stressed that neither NATO nor the US seems to be concerned about the fact that some - officially - non-nuclear members of the alliance keep nuclear weapons on their territory.
"...This violates the Non-Proliferation Treaty, however, it does not seem to worry anyone at NATO," Ryabkov said.
Earlier in the day, Mr Lavrov said NATO was trying to drag Ukraine into its orbit and turn it into an "anti-Russia". Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Ukraine has been deploying its forces into the conflict zone in Donbass, adding that half of its army was already there. Also this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed concern over Kiev's provocative steps to deliberately worsen the situation in the Donbass region.
Meanwhile, speculation in the Western media over alleged Russian military build-up on the border with Ukraine and plans to "invade" the country continue despite Moscow having repeatedly denied such allegations as "absurd".
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