Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko during a meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia February 17, 2023. Sputnik/Vladimir Astapkovich/Kremlin via REUTERS

Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country will station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.

According to Russian state media, President Putin said the move would not violate nuclear non-proliferation agreements and compared it to the US stationing its weapons in Europe.

He added that Moscow would not be transferring control of its arms to Minsk.

The Belarusian regime is a firm Kremlin ally and supporter of the invasion of Ukraine.

President Putin told Russian state television on Saturday that Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko had long raised the issue of stationing tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.

He added that Russia will have completed the construction of a storage facility for tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus by July 1.

President Putin said a small number of Iskander tactical missile systems, which can be used to launch nuclear weapons, have already been transferred to Belarus.