4:35 am ET, April 1, 2023

Russian plan to send nuclear weapons to Belarus proves failure of Putin-X talks, Zelensky says

From CNN’s Allegra Goodwin

President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks to local residents in Bucha on Friday.

(Ukrainian Presidential News Service/Reuters)

Said to be a Russian plan Put nuclear weapons in Belarus Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that it was proof that talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month had failed.

Although China appeared Position yourself as a peace broker In the weeks leading up to a three-day state visit to Moscow between Russia and Ukraine, meetings between the two leaders have produced no meaningful progress in resolving the conflict.

“The signal that Russia wants to put its nuclear weapons in Belarus tells me that the meeting with China has failed, it has failed,” Zelensky told reporters. Visit to Bucha.

Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko has “lost any importance”, the Ukrainian president said, adding that he “doesn’t decide anything about what kind of weapons his country has”.

Some background: Putin announced last week that Moscow would build a storage facility for tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus and complete it by early July. Lukashenko welcomed the move In a national speech on Friday, Russia said its country could stop strategic nuclear weapons.

Referring to Strategic nukes, which can destroy entire cities, is an escalation of Lukashenko’s rhetoric. Russia has not publicly announced plans to send strategic nuclear weapons to Belarus.

Global reaction: While there is no guarantee that Putin will follow through on his plans for Belarus, any nuclear signal from Putin raises concerns in the West.

There are high-level ambassadors from Ukraine, NATO and the European Union Condemned project. America has Underestimated the moveThere are no signs of Russia using nuclear weapons.

The nuclear announcement comes as Putin faces mounting problems elsewhere. Read CNN’s analysis of the result here.

CNN Andrew Carey, Ivana Kotas, Lindsey Isaacs and Anna Chernova contributed to this report.

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