Russia will respond to any hostile action against neighboring Belarus as if it was an attack on itself, using the full force of its military might, Moscow's top envoy to Minsk has vowed.
"Russian President Vladimir Putin clearly said that in the event of an attack on Belarus, we will treat this as an attack on Russia. The military doctrine of the Russian Federation entails, in such a case, a response with all our weaponry," Moscow’s Ambassador to Minsk, Boris Gryzlov, emphasized Sunday during an interview with Belarusian STV broadcaster.
The remarks came amid growing tensions between Belarus and neighboring NATO-member Poland as Western media report that Warsaw has deployed additional forces to its eastern borders, purportedly fearing military action by the Belarus-based Russian Wagner military force.
Russia and Belarus have expanded their military cooperation following the raging conflict between the Western-backed Ukraine and Russia after Moscow launched its special military operation in Ukraine in February 2022 to fend off the threat of NATO's expansion closer to Russian borders.
Russia, meanwhile, announced the deployment of its nuclear weapons in Belarus earlier this year, following a "friendly" request from Putin to do so by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
Lukashenko cited aggressive Western policies towards his country and the perceived threat posed by US nuclear weapons, hosted by Washington's European allies in their capitals as the reason for his decision to deploy Russian tactical nuclear weapons to his country.
The Belarusian leadership said the deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in his country would serve as a deterrent, but vowed to use them if attacked.
In an interview in mid-June, Lukashenko said the decision to deploy Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus came after he made a "friendly request" from Putin, reiterating that he will not hesitate to use them to retaliate against any military action targeting his country.
“That was my request. Russia didn’t impose it on me,” Lukashenko underlined as cited by Belarusian media outlets. “Nobody has ever gone to war with a nuclear state, and I don’t want anyone to go to war with us. Is there such a threat? Yes. I have to counter this threat.”