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President admits hugging nukes

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has revealed he once got up-close and personal with a “strategic nuclear warhead” and actually hugged it.

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The president made the remarks on Thursday at the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly, a major gathering of top officials and public figures in Minsk, at which Lukashenko lamented the fact that Belarus had surrendered its Soviet nuclear arsenal in the early 1990s.

“I had to sign this document. But if I had to make a decision then, we would never have withdrawn strategic nuclear weapons from the territory of Belarus. It had the most powerful arsenal. We would not need any other modern weaponry. But this was decided before me at the request of the Americans,” he told the gathering.

Still, the Belarussian leader claimed to have managed to snatch an intimate moment with a nuclear warhead before they were removed from the country. The nukes “were deployed, I saw them. Like I said, I hugged a strategic nuclear warhead,” Lukashenko stated.

READ MORE: US nuclear weapons in Poland would be priority military target – Moscow

The president likewise hailed the recent deployment of Russian nuclear missiles in the country. While the Russian nukes are tactical, rather than strategic, they perfectly fit the Belarusian doctrine of having the capability to inflict unacceptable military damage to deter potential adversaries, Lukashenko explained.

“[The nukes] must stay on Belarusian soil,” he stressed.

The deployment of nuclear weapons to Belarus was announced by President Vladimir Putin early last year in an apparent response to the UK’s decision to provide Ukraine with depleted uranium munitions.

Minsk had repeatedly requested such deployments in the past, citing aggressive Western policies towards Belarus and the perceived threat posed by US nuclear weapons in Europe.

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