EU warns Belarus opening door to Russian nukes after vote | News

Transfer comes as Belarus faces criticism for permitting Russian forces use its territory as a launchpad to assault Ukraine.

The European Union has warned that Belarus might begin internet hosting Russian nuclear weapons after a “very harmful” choice at a referendum to drop the nation’s non-nuclear standing.

“We all know what does it imply for Belarus to be nuclear. It signifies that Russia will put nuclear weapons in Belarus and it is a very harmful path,” EU overseas coverage chief Josep Borrell stated on Monday.

The transfer by Belarus got here because the nation was being condemned internationally for getting used as a launchpad by Russian forces to assault neighbouring Ukraine.

Borrell slammed the “faux referendum” on constitutional adjustments. The amendments enable the nation to host nuclear weapons and Russian forces completely. It additionally prolonged the rule of chief Alexander Lukashenko.

About 800 individuals had been reportedly arrested after the vote sparked the largest protests in months and hundreds took to the streets in Belarus.

The vote to alter the structure was handed by 65 p.c, in keeping with official information.

Lukashenko has launched a ferocious crackdown on opponents since mass protests erupted after he claimed victory at an election in 2020 referred to as fraudulent by the West.

The Belarusian chief, who has been in energy since 1994, has shifted decisively in direction of Moscow after Russian President Vladimir Putin helped prop up his rule.

EU sanctions on the best way

The EU is ready to impose a brand new host of powerful sanctions on Belarus as Minsk has facilitated Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine by performing as a staging put up for forces concerned within the assault.

Western allies worry the constitutional shift from Belarus – which neighbours three EU and NATO international locations – might now carry extra Russian nuclear weapons nearer to their border.

Russia has the world’s largest arsenal of nuclear weapons and an enormous cache of ballistic missiles.

Putin ordered his nuclear forces on excessive alert on Sunday in a transfer the West stated was “completely unacceptable”.

In the meantime, america shuttered its embassy in Minsk and allowed non-emergency workers and members of the family to depart the embassy in Moscow.

“We took these steps because of safety and security points stemming from the unprovoked and unjustified assault by Russian navy forces in Ukraine,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated.

A photograph posted on Twitter by US Ambassador to Belarus Julie Fisher on Monday confirmed mission employees reducing the American flag. All American employees have departed Belarus, Fisher tweeted.

The US relocated its embassy operations in Ukraine from the capital Kyiv to the western metropolis of Lviv two weeks in the past as Russian forces amassed at Ukraine’s borders.

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