Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday said that Moscow has sent its first batch of nuclear weapons to Belarus, The Hill reported.
Addressing St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Putin said that the rest of the nuclear weapons should be delivered by the end of the summer. Russia moves forward with the plan as part of the plan to deploy tactical nuclear bombs in the country bordering Ukraine.
"This is a deterrence measure [against] all those who think about Russia and its strategic defeat," he said in response to a question about the use of nuclear weapons in war.
The Russian leader's comments follow claims from Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko this week that his nation received the first part of the "bombs and missiles from Russia," as per retorted by The Hill.
Lukashenko told Russian and Belarusian state media, "We have missiles and bombs that we have received from Russia," adding, "The bombs are three times more powerful than those [dropped on] Hiroshima and Nagasaki," Fox News reported.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced that Russia has commenced the delivery of nuclear weapons to Belarus, including some that are apparently three times as powerful as those detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, reported Fox News.
The tactical nuclear warheads are the first Russia has moved since opening its invasion of Ukraine last year. The weapons' arrival comes one week after Ukrainian forces began a large-scale counteroffensive against Russia. Lukashenko argues the weapons will only serve as a deterrent, as per a Fox News report.
Fox News is an American website based in New York City. Meanwhile, Finland on April 4 this year became NATO's newest member upon depositing its instrument of accession to the North Atlantic Treaty with the United States at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.