Members of the CSTO will hold a summit marking the organization’s 30th anniversary in Moscow today. Russian President Putin and
Members of the CSTO will hold a summit marking the organization’s 30th anniversary in Moscow today.
Russian President Putin and Belarusian President Lukashenko will hold a discussion as a part of the summit. Belarus is one of Russia’s closest allies in the region. Collective security concerns, souring relations with the European Union and mutual territorial interests resulted in the development of such strong ties that have nearly seen the merger of the two countries. Belarus has aided Russian objectives in various theaters, sending migrants to Poland to destabilize the EU and serving as a staging ground for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Putin and Lukashenko have discussed the possibility of stationing Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus.
Per a 1992 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Belarus pledged to not host nuclear weapons on its soil. Following a constitutional referendum in February, which was approved with 65% of the vote, Minsk renounced its nuclear-neutrality. Therefore, expect the summit to include allocating Russian nuclear artillery in Belarus as a strategic step to deter the recent military readiness of Eastern European NATO members in Poland. The prospect of tensions cooling in the short-term is unlikely. Belarus’ nuclear armament could either intensify regional tensions or lead to diplomatic negotiations.