Belarus to Host Russian Nukes in Major Reversal of Post-Soviet Order

Belarus will reportedly allow Russia to position nuclear weapons in its country, a report stated Sunday night—which is early Monday morning in Eastern Europe.

Belarus, which is an ally to Russia and borders Ukraine to the northwest and Ukraine's NATO allies the other direction, has renounced its non-nuclear status and neutral status.

"Belarus will renounce its non-nuclear and neutral status, allowing Russia to place nuclear weapons on its territory, as a result of the referendum held today," the Kyiv Independent reported. "65.16% of [Belarus] citizens allegedly supported these constitutional amendments."

Ukraine Nuclear Conflict
A man rushes to a bomb shelter in a residential building during an all-day curfew on February 27, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Explosions and gunfire were reported around Kyiv as the Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, which has killed scores and prompted widespread condemnation from US and European leaders. Photo by Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images

A new referendum Sunday in Belarus was approved that will allow Russia to use its neighbor as a launching pad for nuclear missiles. This comes as Russian and Belarusian forces completed joint training exercises prior to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The referendum approves a new constitution in Belarus, which tosses an old Soviet-era policy of no nuclear weapons. Now, this means Belarus is lined up with Russia in what seems like a chest-thumping move to not only threaten Ukraine, but the other former states of the USSR.

Western countries have indicated they would not approve, or acknowledge, results from the Belarus referendum, according to Reuters.

The coziness between Belarus and Russia is nothing new. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has ruled the last 28 years, and his camaraderie with Putin is no secret.

Days after the recent Belarus-Russia military drills—and prolonged Russian forces staying there after those drills—Russian troops remained stacked along the Ukrainian border. This was all while Russia lined up troops, tanks, and other military force along the Ukraine border.

Lukashenko said Sunday that he could go as far to ask Putin to return Russia's nuclear weapons to Belarus, Reuters reported.

"If you (the West) transfer nuclear weapons to Poland or Lithuania, to our borders, then I will turn to Putin to return the nuclear weapons that I gave away without any conditions," Lukashenko said.

The new Belarusian constitution would give ultimate power to both Lukashenko and the All-Belarusian People's Assembly that was created by Lukashenko, which was also populated by party loyalists, local councils, officials and activists of pro-government organizations.

The new referendum would also give Lukashenko lifetime immunity from any prosecution should he ever leave office.