Belarus has converted Sukhhoi Su-24 fighter jets so that they can carry nuclear weapons, President Alexander Lukashenko has said.
Lukashenko, a strong ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said the upgrade has been done with Russian help. Belarusian aircraft have been converted as agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Lukashenko said in Minsk on Friday. "Everything is ready!" Lukashenko said, according to IANS, which cited state news agency Belta.
Lukashenko said with this, Belarus is now equipped to respond to threats in a variety of ways. He cited the growing threat from NATO expansion. The US, as part of NATO, is currently moving military technology to Eastern Europe as well, dpa news agency quoted the President as saying.
"They should understand that no helicopters, planes will save them if they continue their confrontation course," he said.
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Lukashenko had repeatedly claimed that Poland and other states were a threat to Belarus.
There is no evidence of this, however.
Belarus supports Russia in its war against Ukraine, among other things, by providing military bases from which attacks are also carried out on the neighbouring country.
Economically, the former Soviet Republic is dependent on Russia.