Moscow to send Belarus nuclear-capable missiles within months—Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) speaks with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko during their meeting in Saint Petersburg, on June 25, 2022. AFP

MOSCOW — Russia will deliver missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to Belarus in the coming months, President Vladimir Putin said Saturday as he received Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.

“In the coming months, we will transfer to Belarus Iskander-M tactical missile systems, which can use ballistic or cruise missiles, in their conventional and nuclear versions,” Putin said in a broadcast on Russian television at the start of his meeting with Lukashenko in Saint Petersburg.

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He also offered to upgrade Belarus’ warplanes to make them capable of carrying nuclear weapons, amid soaring tensions with the West over Ukraine.

“Many Su-25 (aircrafts) are in service with the Belarusian military. They could be upgraded in an appropriate way,” the Russian leader said.

“This modernisation should be carried out in aircraft factories in Russia and the training of personnel should start in accordance with this,” he added, after Lukashenko asked him to “adapt” the planes.