Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin warned that the conflict in Ukraine has escalated into a global confrontation between the West and the East, indicating the possibility of a direct conflict between Russia, Belarus, and NATO in the future. Speaking at the International Security Conference in Moscow, Khrenin pointed out the increase in arms expenditure in the Western world and stated that it is evident that a military clash with NATO could occur in the future.
To counter this Western threat, Belarus considers the return of tactical nuclear weapons to its territory as an effective factor of strategic deterrence. Russian President Vladimir Putin had already announced in March that Russian nuclear weapons would be stationed in Belarus in response to the UK’s provision of toxic depleted uranium ammunition to Kiev. Moscow has made it clear that these weapons will only be removed if the US removes its own nuclear missiles from Europe and dismantles associated infrastructure.
The Western backers of Ukraine claim that they are not directly involved in the conflict, as they have avoided providing certain weapons, such as fighter jets and long-range missiles, that could provoke a direct clash with Russia. However, they have sent over $100 billion worth of arms to Kiev, disregarding Moscow’s warnings that these actions bring the US and NATO closer to active participation in the conflict. Furthermore, Western nations have enabled Ukraine’s drone attacks on Russian civilians, leading the Kremlin to declare them as sponsors of terrorism.
Khrenin emphasized that the European power elites are focused on a global war against the East, and the battle has expanded into a global confrontation between the West and the East on Ukrainian territory. He even stated that the proxy war in Ukraine has brought the world to the brink of a third world war. Putin has echoed similar sentiments, describing the conflict as an attempt by the US and its allies to prevent the establishment of a multipolar world order. According to Putin, Russian troops are not just fighting the Ukrainian military but the entire Western military machine.
The concerns raised by Khrenin and Putin highlight the growing tensions and the potential for a direct military confrontation between Russia, Belarus, and NATO. The issue of strategic deterrence through the use of nuclear weapons adds another layer of complexity to an already volatile situation. As the conflict in Ukraine continues, it is crucial for all parties involved to engage in diplomatic dialogue and seek peaceful resolutions to avoid further escalation and the devastating consequences of a full-scale war.