Additional sanctions will be imposed on Belarus if the Lukashenko regime agrees to host Russian tactical nuclear weapons on the country's territory.
The head of the Polish government, Mateusz Morawiecki, said this after the latest round Romanian-Polish intergovernmental consultations in Bucharest, during a joint meeting with the Prime Minister of Romania, Nicolae Ciucă, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
"The step that Russia has taken, announcing the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, will undoubtedly lead to additional sanctions being imposed on Belarus; the level of sanctions imposed on Belarus will be significantly more painful for the Lukashenko regime," Morawiecki said.
He noted that he was in constant contact with European leaders on how to form the next, 11th package of sanctions.
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"Without a doubt, this package will include more steps toward Belarus," the prime minister stated.
Morawiecki also emphasized that Warsaw was deciding whether, within the framework of bilateral Polish-Belarusian relations, "to make the parameters of goods and personal movement more rigid." According to him, this can be done in order to send a clear signal to Lukashenko that Poland does not agree to steps that "help Russia in the context of its aggressive actions against Ukraine and aggressive actions against Poland and other EU countries."
As Ukrinform reported earlier, on March 25, Vladimir Putin said in an interview on Russian TV that the country intended to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. The decision, he said, was approved after the United Kingdom pledged to deliver to Ukraine a batch of artillery munitions containing depleted uranium. These rounds are not considered nuclear weapons.
The White House said the intentions of Vladimir Putin, whom the International Criminal Court suspects of war crimes, would not influence the U.S. nuclear posture.
At the same time, the U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War think tank said Russia had likely had the intention to deploy nukes in Belarus even before launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
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The European Union considers the Kremlin's statement as an irresponsible attempt to escalate tensions and declares its readiness to apply new economic sanctions in response to increased threats to European security.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus stated that hosting Russian nuclear warheads without gaining control over them does not breach international law.