During a meeting with a group of donors in California on Monday, 19 June, US President Joe Biden said that the threat of Putin's use of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus was real – as reported by Reuters.
"When I was out here about two years ago saying I worried about the Colorado River drying up, everybody looked at me like I was crazy. They looked at me like when I said I worry about Putin using tactical nuclear weapons. It's real," Biden said.
Earlier, the US President called Russia's plans to move its nuclear weapons to the territory of Belarus "absolutely irresponsible."
However, Ukrainian authorities report that there is no evidence that nuclear weapons have been transferred to Belarus.
On June 19, the presidential representative at the Verkhovna Rada, Fedir Venislavsky, said Ukraine has no evidence that Russian nuclear weapons have already arrived in Belarus.
"We heard representatives of Ukraine's intelligence at a meeting of the [Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security, Defense, and Intelligence] in closed session. We have no genuine evidence that nuclear weapons have already been redeployed to the territory of the Republic of Belarus," he said.
On March 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin said a storage facility for Russian tactical nuclear weapons would be ready in Belarus by July.
On March 31, the self-proclaimed President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, said that Belarus could also adopt strategic nuclear weapons if necessary.
In April, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the transfer of Iskander missiles to Belarus, which are able to carry nuclear warheads. At the end of May, the Belarusian army held exercises during which it trained to prepare and launch Iskander missiles.
On June 14, Lukashenko said the country had already started receiving nuclear weapons from Russia. He stressed that it could be used from the territory of Belarus only in case of a direct threat to his country.
Later, on June 16, Putin said Russia had transferred part of its nuclear weapons to Belarus. The rest will be moved by the end of the year.
On June 17, military analysts at the Institute for the Study of War believed that the Kremlin's statements about the transfer of nuclear warheads showed consolidation of Russia's de facto military control over Belarus.
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