Publish: 28 Feb 2022, 10:30 pm
The European Union has warned that Belarus could start
hosting Russian nuclear weapons after a “very dangerous” decision at a
referendum to drop the country’s non-nuclear status.
“We know what it means for Belarus to be nuclear. It means that Russia will put nuclear weapons in Belarus and this is a very dangerous path,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday.
The move by Belarus came as the country was being condemned internationally for being used as a launchpad by Russian forces to attack neighbouring Ukraine.
Borrell slammed the “fake referendum” on constitutional changes. The amendments allow the country to host nuclear weapons and Russian forces permanently. It also extended the rule of leader Alexander Lukashenko.
About 800 people were reportedly arrested after the vote sparked the biggest protests in months and thousands took to the streets in Belarus.
The vote to change the constitution was passed by 65 percent, according to official data.
Lukashenko has launched a ferocious crackdown on opponents since mass protests erupted after he claimed victory at an election in 2020 called fraudulent by the West.
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