Poland said on Tuesday Russia is moving some short-range nuclear weapons to Belarus, a move Polish President Andrzej Duda said could transform the NATO alliance in the region.
Both Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko said last month Moscow had already shipped some of it tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus after the plan was announced in March.
The news of the move came a day later US Embassy in Belarus on Monday urged all American citizens in the country to leave the country immediately and warned against traveling there.
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The warning comes after Lithuania closed two of its main border crossings with Belarus over border crossing concerns Russian mercenary group Wagner which has established branches in the country.
Moscow said it will retain control of the warheads it sends to Belarus. Belarus is a critical and strategically important state because, in addition to Ukraine, it also borders on NATO countries such as Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.
Duda made the comments at a joint press conference with visiting Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
“I informed President (de Sousa) about the implementation of Vladimir Putin’s statements that Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons will be transferred to the territory of Belarus,” he said. “In fact, this process is taking place, we see that.”
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As Russia’s war in Ukraine continues, Ukrainians are reportedly stepping up arms production. Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to receive millions in military aid from NATO countries.
Fox News Digital’s Bradford Betz contributed to this report.