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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Belarus May Get Nuclear Weapons

MINSK -- Russia may consider deploying new nuclear facilities in Belarus in response to a U.S. plan for a missile shield in Eastern Europe, Moscow's ambassador to Minsk said Monday.

"This depends on the level of our political integration [with Belarus]," Ambassador Alexander Surikov said, Interfax reported.

"It also depends on the views of experts, diplomats and the military: Is it necessary and possible, when and how? I am talking about sites linked to nuclear weapons," he said.

President Vladimir Putin has denounced the U.S. plan to deploy elements of a missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic and has threatened to target missiles on Europe.

Putin has proposed a missile shield in which Russia and European states could participate alongside the United States.

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko said in July that Belarus would disregard its economic disputes with Russia and work closely to resist the U.S. shield.