Belarus: We Can Has Nukes Now

Belarus: We Can Has Nukes Now

Belarus: We Can Has Nukes Now

Rest easy everyone! Belarus has voted to change its constitution in order to allow itself to become a nuclear power. Everyone feel better now?

Yeah, no, this is not good news.

A referendum in Belarus on Sunday approved a new constitution ditching the country’s non-nuclear status at a time when the former Soviet republic has become a launch pad for Russian troops invading Ukraine, Russian news agencies said.”

The agencies cited the Belarus central elections commission as saying 65.2% of those who took part voted in favor. The result came as little surprise, given the tightly controlled rule of President Alexander Lukashenko.”

The new constitution could see nuclear weapons on Belarusian soil for the first time since the country gave them up after the fall of the Soviet Union.”

Like Ukraine, who gave up its nuclear weapons in 1994 with the Budapest Memorandum (with the agreement that Russia would respect Ukraine’s sovereignty – so much for that), Belarus also gave up its nuclear arms around the same time under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Well, times have changed, and Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko, a known stooge of Vladimir Putin, is working to lend soldiers and arms to Russia, and likely allow nuclear weapons to be placed within his country to directly threaten Ukraine, its neighbor to the south.

Lukashenko is under the impression that this move will serve to deter the West from getting any ideas.

On Sunday, speaking at a polling station, Lukashenko said he could ask Russia to return nuclear weapons to Belarus.”

“If you (the West) transfer nuclear weapons to Poland or Lithuania, to our borders, then I will turn to Putin to return the nuclear weapons that I gave away without any conditions,” Lukashenko said.”

Also, Lukashenko put some *ahem* INTERESTING loopholes in these constitutional changes.

The new constitution would give powers to the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly, created by Lukashenko and populated by party loyalists, local councils, officials and activists of pro-government organizations.”

It would also give lifetime immunity from prosecution to the president once he left office.”

Oh, really, how conveeeeeeeenient. Lukashenko has controlled Belarus for 28 years – is he envisioning a point when he leaves office? Hardly likely, but an interesting way to cover his ass.

The West has already said that they have no intention of recognizing these changes to Belarus’s constitution, but Russia is likely to start moving nukes into Belarus anyway – which is an escalation that everyone could do without. But Belarus is neck-deep in the escalation anyway.

Would now be a good time for Belarus to consider perhaps removing Lukashenko from office? Yes, theoretically 65.2% of the vote came back in favor of changing the constitution. You really think people can vote freely in Belarus?

And wouldn’t that just chap Lukashenko and Putin’s hides if the people of Belarus decided that 28 years of Lukashenko – a man who had no compunctions about forcing a commercial aircraft down just to arrest a journalist who had criticized him – is more than enough?

Wishful thinking, yes, but consider what the people of Belarus are seeing right now. The Ukrainian population is standing up to the Russian army. Putin’s invasion, which he allegedly thought would be wrapped up in just a few days, has stalled. Instead of being able to get his invasion done quickly and then present the world with a fait accompli, Ukraine mobilized and its people and leaders are currently inspiring the whole world.

Popular sentiment has turned so drastically against Putin that even the European Union is willing to GIVE WEAPONS to Ukraine.

The European Union agreed Sunday to provide some €500 million in arms and other aid to the Ukrainian military as it battles Russia’s invasion, in a move the bloc described as a “watershed moment” in its history.”

The EU’s treaties bar the bloc from using its normal budget to fund operations with military or defense implications. Under the plans announced Sunday, as first reported by POLITICO, the EU will use an off-budget so-called “European Peace Facility” financing instrument with a ceiling of €5 billion that can be used to provide military aid.”

“For the first time ever, the EU will finance the purchase and delivery of weapons and other equipment to a country that is under attack,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at a media appearance alongside the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell. “This is a watershed moment,” she added.”

I am deeply skeptical about the reports that Putin might have a few screws loose, or is backed into a corner. However, what IS obvious is that he has few friends in the international community at the moment, and even China isn’t sure about Putin at the moment. Lukashenko will continue to be Putin’s lapdog so long as there is power and control in it for him, but it is true – if Belarus suddenly had a popular uprising to take Lukashenko down, Putin is a little too busy at the moment to run to Lukashenko’s rescue.

Does Belarus really want nuclear weapons back on their soil, or want to send their soldiers to fight as proxies of Russia against Ukraine? I have a feeling that we are about to find out.

Featured image: Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus in April 2021, from the President of Azerbaijan’s website via Wikimedia Commons, cropped, Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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  • SDN says:

    “It would also give lifetime immunity from prosecution to the president once he left office.”

    Just another way of saying “You Americans claimed you were above such things. Your treatment of President Trump proves your commitment to your principles at home is as non-existent as your guarantees to Ukraine after they gave up their nukes.”

  • Andrew X says:

    I had not considered the ramifications of Dr. Phil having nuclear weapons, but it’s a disturbing thought.

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