Zhivadin Yovanovitch noted that the agreement between Moscow and Minsk followed the announcement of the UK about plans to supply depleted uranium shells to Kyiv.

The deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus can be seen as a response to the actions of countries of the collective West, ex-Foreign Minister of former Yugoslavia Zivadin Jovanovic told TASS on Sunday.

“I think that the agreement on the deployment of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus is a very serious response and a warning to the so-called collective West (the United States, NATO, the European Union). It is a response to the escalation and the direct influence by NATO countries into the conflict in Ukraine, to the reckless actions to add fuel to the fire by means of advanced weapons, intermediate-range missiles, tanks, warplanes and other offensive weapons for targeting Russia’s territory. The agreement between Russia and Belarus followed the statement that the United Kingdom and some other NATO countries plan to supply Kiev with shells with depleted uranium, which can be interpreted as the beginning of the use of nuclear weapons against Russian troops and Russia. NATO’s propaganda is seeking to underplay the danger of such weapons, which, as a matter of fact, are weapons of mass destruction,” he said.

The stressed that the use of such shells in 1995 and 1999 had caused the growth of cancer incidence in former Yugoslavia. “Or better, let them ask the families of hundreds of Italian, Spanish and other soldiers who died after returning from the KFOR (NATO-led international security force in Kosovo) mission how “healthy” it is to sped time in places where shells with depleted uranium was used. Finally, if these shells are harmless, then why is their use banned in NATO (EU) member countries?!” Jovanovic noted.

According to the former top Yugoslav diplomat, the collective West has deployed large bases with nuclear weapons in at least five countries, namely Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Poland and Romania have missile defense systems capable of using nuclear warheads. Moreover, those countries, which don’t have nuclear weapons so far, allocate huge sums to buy advanced US bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons. “For instance, along with its regular [military] budget, Germany has allocated an extra sum of 100 billion euro to purchase American F-16A bombers. Last but not least, the doctrine of the preemptive use of nuclear weapons is related to the collective West,” he stressed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that at Belarus’ request Russia will deploy its tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, like the United States has long been doing on the territories of its allied countries. Moscow has already transferred to Minsk an Iskander system that can use nuclear weapons. According to the Russian leader, the construction of a depot for tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus is expected to be completed on July 1.