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    Security Chief labels Russian nuclear deployment to Belarus as blackmail

    Poland’s National Security Bureau Chief has expressed alarm over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of nuclear armament in Belarus. In an interview with the Polish Press Agency (PAP), the head of the BBN characterized the move as an act of “blackmail”. He warned that such an act could potentially destabilize the region.

    Jacek Siewiera went on to say: “That act of blackmail concerns a strategic change in the balance of power in Central Europe.”

    On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow is planning to deploy tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus. Putin revealed that nine planes outfitted with nuclear missiles have been sent to the country, with facilities to house the weapons set to be constructed by June 1.

    In a recent statement, Siewiera expressed confusion over Moscow’s actions in the last year, asserting that many of the decisions made were “incomprehensible and unjustified” at a military level. He suggested that more dialogue was necessary to understand the rationale behind these decisions.

    “However, this is not about how high the risk is that the war spreads beyond Ukraine, but on Russia’s creation of a sense of threat that would negatively impact the formation of policy and the security strategy of countries of the West,” he said.

    “Putin’s announcement concerning the deployment of atomic weapons to Belarus is a further act of blackmail, there is no doubt about that,” Siewiera told PAP.

    The security chief of Russia admitted to using nuclear blackmail in Ukraine last autumn, in an effort to instil fear in both the Ukrainian armed forces and society. The brazen act was conducted in order to break Ukrainian morale and prevent a potential counteroffensive.

    “Today the blackmail is different,” Siewiera continued. “…It is not an attempt to exert pressure on Ukraine, but on countries of the West. Because deploying nuclear weapons to Belarus is not only military in nature but also political and strategic… Sowing fear as an instrument of war, to scare the West away from supporting Ukraine.”

    Russia’s use of tactical nuclear weapons would be counterproductive, according to an expert. This assessment was made by the source, who argued that such an action would be “operationally senseless.”

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