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Belarus: Nuclear Weapons
Country Study > Chapter 9 > National Security > The Armed Forces > Nuclear Weapons

NUCLEAR WEAPONS


When the Soviet Union dissolved, Belarus (along with Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan) technically became a nuclear power because of the eighty-one SS-25 intercontinental ballistic missiles on its soil, even though the republic's Declaration of State Sovereignty declared Belarus to be a nuclear-free state. In May 1992, Belarus signed the Lisbon Protocol to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and, along with Ukraine and Kazakhstan, agreed to destroy or turn over all strategic nuclear warheads on its territory to Russia.

To achieve this objective, the Supreme Soviet had to ratify the START I Treaty. For some time, however, the legislature stalled while seeking international guarantees of the republic's security and international funding to carry out the removal. Finally, on February 4, 1993, the START I Treaty was ratified, and adherence to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was approved. All tactical nuclear weapons were removed from Belarus by mid-1993, but although the country strove to remove the strategic nuclear weapons (based at Lida and Mazyr) by 1995, there was little hope of meeting this deadline. Lukashyenka decided to stop Conventional Forces in Europearms reductions in February 1995, claiming NATO encroachments on Belarus's territory; rather, it was a matter of finances. These remaining strategic nuclear weapons were tended by Russian troops who would continue to be stationed there for twenty-five years according to the customs union agreements reached with Russia in January and February 1995.

Data as of June 1995




Last Updated: June 1995


Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Belarus was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.

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