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Belarusian President Warns NATO About Nuclear Exercises

Aug. 27, 2022 (EIRNS)—Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko indicated yesterday that there are now aircraft of the Belarusian air force equipped to carry nuclear weapons. “They have to understand that no helicopters or aircraft will save them if they decide to aggravate the situation. Putin and I once said in St. Petersburg that we will refit Belarusian Sukhoi aircraft among other things so that they could carry nuclear weapons. Do you think we talk nonsense? Everything is ready!” he said, the official BelTA news agency reported.

In the process of his remarks, Lukashenko implicitly raised the question of military exercises that can unintentionally lead to war. “We are very concerned about training flights of U.S.A. and NATO aircraft, which are training to carry nuclear warheads. It is very stress-inducing for us. This is why I ask you to consider a tit-for-tat response to these things. Without overdoing it.”

Lukashenko was referring to NATO’s annual Steadfast Noon nuclear exercise which, as far as is publicly known, is NATO’s only nuclear operations exercise. It involves all of the countries where U.S. nuclear weapons are stored, plus a number of other countries which also participate in NATO’s nuclear planning group but don’t have any nuclear weapons on their territory, Poland among them. Steadfast Noon was last held in October 2021, hosted in Italy. The alliance has made no announcements regarding the 2022 iteration of the exercise.

“They should think about it,” Lukashenko continued. “I’d warned them: if God forbid some serious provocation against Belarus happens, our targets have been locked in. Decision-making centers. We know them. I don’t threaten anyone. This is why you don’t have to worry.”

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