(Central News Agency) Brussels is ready to impose new sanctions on Minsk if Belarus allows Russia to deploy nuclear weapons on its territory, the European Union's foreign affairs and security policy chief Bourrell said today.

Josep Borrell tweeted: "Stocking Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus would mean irresponsible escalation and a threat to European security. Belarus can still stop doing this, that is their choice. The European Union is ready to go further sanctions in response."

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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced yesterday that Russia will deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.

Putin emphasized that the relevant deployment is similar to that of the United States.

The United States stores the weapon at military bases in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.

Western allies consider the comparison "misleading".

With fears of a nuclear war rising since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, experts believe Moscow is likely to strike with small battlefield weapons known as "tactical" nukes rather than powerful, long-range "strategic" nukes.

In an interview aired yesterday, Putin said there was "nothing unusual" about deploying tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.