When the Soviet Union dissolved, Belarus (along with
Ukraine, and Kazakhstan) technically became a nuclear
because of the eighty-one SS-25 intercontinental ballistic
missiles on its soil, even though the republic's
State Sovereignty declared Belarus to be a nuclear-free
May 1992, Belarus signed the Lisbon Protocol to the Treaty
Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and, along with
Kazakhstan, agreed to destroy or turn over all strategic
warheads on its territory to Russia.
To achieve this objective, the Supreme Soviet had to
the START I Treaty. For some time, however, the
stalled while seeking international guarantees of the
security and international funding to carry out the
Finally, on February 4, 1993, the START I Treaty was
and adherence to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was
approved. All tactical nuclear weapons were removed from
by mid-1993, but although the country strove to remove the
strategic nuclear weapons (based at Lida and Mazyr) by
there was little hope of meeting this deadline.
decided to stop Conventional Forces in Europe
arms reductions in February 1995, claiming NATO
Belarus's territory; rather, it was a matter of finances.
remaining strategic nuclear weapons were tended by Russian
who would continue to be stationed there for twenty-five
according to the customs union agreements reached with
January and February 1995
(see Russian Troops
, this ch.).
Data as of June 1995