Nuclear Weapons In Belarus — Why It May Have Been Xi Jinping's Idea
To trace Moscow's decision to transfer nuclear weapons to Belarus, we may need to look to Beijing — and the recent summit of Xi Jinping-Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin has decided to raise the nuclear stakes even further — to violate the Non-Proliferation Treaty by announcing his intention to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.
Russian officials say they intend to build a storage facility for tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, and has already converted 10 Belarusian aircraft to use this type of weapon. Moscow has also transferred to Minsk the Iskander missile systems capable of carrying such charges. Training of their Belarusian service personnel will begin on April 3.
The international outrage at Putin the past few days is warranted. Yet it is no coincidence that he took this step immediately after Chinese leader Xi Jinping's recent visit to Moscow.
Another summit earlier this month, which received much less attention, was the visit of Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko to Beijing a month ago to meet with Xi.
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It is now clear why Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, just before the Putin-Xi briefing, commented on transferring British depleted uranium shells to Ukraine. It was the information Putin used to justify his provocative actions.
The Russians know that depleted uranium is not banned anywhere or by anyone, and that this material is used worldwide (and in Russia as well) to create more effective ammunition against tanks. And such shells are not weapons of mass destruction.
The Kremlin is well aware of what it is doing: not only is it engaging in nuclear blackmail, it is destroying the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to which Russia is a key signatory. The Russians are triggering a chain of reactions by transferring these deadly weapons to a non-nuclear weapon state, which is also a signatory to this document. Russia is destroying a fundamental element of the world order formed after World War II, after the creation of the United Nations.
To solve nuclear problems, we now need to turn to Beijing.
After Putin and Xi's agreement on the eve of the Beijing Olympics in February 2022, the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. After meeting in the Uzbek city of Samarkand, the Kremlin leader announced a partial mobilization. Now that the Moscow talks between the two presidents have ended, Russia has decided to build a nuclear storage facility in Belarus.
Moreover, before the talks between Xi and Putin in the Kremlin, Lukashenko paid a visit to Beijing - it is hard to imagine that the Belarusian dictator did not talk to the Chinese secretary general about the prospect of deploying tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of his country.
Russia Successfully Tests Sarmat Intercontinental Ballistic Missile in Plesetsk, Russia.
China's fake peace
And this violation is beneficial to China. With whom will European leaders negotiate again to appease Putin's nuclear ambitions? Xi will play the role of a good cop. Soon, the Spanish prime minister, the French president, and the head of the European Commission will visit China. What will they talk about now? About the Russian leader's latest nuclear threats.
What will the Chinese secretary general demand from them? Strengthening trade ties, non-participation in American initiatives against China, and even a more lenient attitude toward Xi's initiative to establish peace between Russia and Ukraine. And just a couple of days ago, the head of the European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, assured that Xi's visit to Moscow had reduced the likelihood of a nuclear war.
It also shows China's unwillingness to see Ukraine as a sovereign state.
Putin's nuclear blackmail, the deployment of charges in Belarus, is only part of China's big game with one goal: to weaken the United States. After the Second World War, nuclear security depended primarily on the United States, now China is demonstrating that this trend is changing, and that to solve nuclear problems, we now need to turn to Beijing.
Ukraine should not be surprised that Xi decided not to hold talks with Kyiv on "peace proposals" after his talks with Putin. Xi Jinping did not plan anything of the sort: he needed to coordinate his actions with the Russian leader, who "took the Chinese plan as a basis." And the fact that Putin toasted "to the health of friend Xi" against the background of a plaque depicting Prince Volodymyr of Kyiv with his sons, against the backdrop of a drawing symbolizing the unification of the lands of Kievan Rus, speaks not only of the Russian leader's sick ambitions.
It also shows China's unwillingness to see Ukraine as a sovereign state. Otherwise, we can not explain Beijing's refusal to ratify the treaty of friendship with our country in early 2014, at the beginning of Russia's war against Ukraine.
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