Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko on Thursday released a statement that his nation could host nuclear weapons if it faces any external threats, as tensions surge between his ally Russia and the West over Ukraine.

Lukashenko has yet to hold negotiations with his Russian counterpart President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

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As per the reports, Lukashenko added that, “If required, if our rivals and opponents take such stupid and mindless steps, we will deploy not only nuclear weapons, but super-nuclear and up-and-coming ones to protect our territory.”

He added that, “If there are no danger or threats to Belarus from its opponents or rivals, then there is no need to deploy any nuclear weapon for a hundred years.”

Ex-Soviet member Belarus, which does not hold any nuclear power yet, will have a vote on conditional reforms later this month that could make it legal for Belarus to host nuclear weapons.

Lukashenko, who has held the power since 1994, assures the referendum in the wake of historic protests against his disputed re-election.

The constitutional reforms will also grant Lukashenko the authorization to remain in office until 2035.

Meanwhile, Moscow and Minsk are currently engaged in joint military exercises in Belarus, while sharpening doubts that Russia is planning to escalate the conflict in Ukraine.

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At the same time, Belarus has said that all Russian troops will evacuate the region after the drills end conclude on February 20.

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