Nuclear Disarmament Belarus


Soviet SS-25 ICBM on a mobile missile launcher
www.defenseimagery.mil

NPT Non-nuclear Weapon State
Formerly Possessed Nuclear Weapons

Arsenal Size [1]

  • Belarus possesses no nuclear weapons.
  • Belarus formerly had 81 Soviet SS-25 Sickle missiles with warheads and an unknown number of tactical nuclear weapons placed on its territory.

Estimated Destructive Force

  • N/A

Progress in Disarmament

  • Belarus transferred all of its Soviet-era tactical warheads to the Russian Federation by May 1993, while the transfer of strategic warheads was completed by November 1996. [2]
  • On December 1, 2010, Belarus announced its plan to eliminate the country's remaining stocks of highly enriched uranium (HEU) – reported as approximately 230kg at the time – with U.S. help before the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea. [3] In October and November 2010, 88.7kg of HEU, including 46.7kg of fresh HEU fuel, were removed from several facilities. [4] However, Belarus suspended this agreement after the U.S. announced sanctions against Belarus in 2011. [5] Approximately 100 kilograms of HEU remain while talks on renewing the agreement are at an impasse. [6]

Nuclear Weapons Related Policies [7]

State Party to:

Humanitarian Stance

  • Belarus supports the Austria-led Humanitarian Initiative, which calls for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons as an assurance that they will not be used "under any circumstances." [8] The alternative Australia-led Initiative does not use such language. [9]

Sources:
[1] Joseph Cirincione, Jon B. Wolfsthal, Miriam Rajkumar, "Non-Russian Nuclear Successor States: Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine," in Deadly Arsenals (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2005), pp. 365-381.
[2] Daryl Kimball and Tom Collina, "The Presidential Nuclear Initiatives (PNIs) on Tactical Nuclear Weapons at a Glance," Arms Control Association, last updated August 2012; Joseph Cirincione, Jon B. Wolfsthal, Miriam Rajkumar, "Non-Russian Nuclear Successor States: Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine," in Deadly Arsenals (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2005), pp. 365-381.
[3] William Potter, "Belarus Agrees to Remove All HEU," CNS Feature Story, December1, 2010, www.nonproliferation.org; Pavel Podvig, "Belarus suspends HEU removal talks with the United States," International Panel on Fissile Materials, August 19, 2011, www.fissilematerials.org.
[4] S. Tozser, P. Adelfang and E. Bradley, "Ten Years of IAEA Cooperation with the Russian Research Reactor Fuel Return Programme," RRFM conference paper, March 2013, www.euronuclear.org.
[5] Fissile Materials Working Group, "Nuclear Security's Top Priority," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (web edition), June 12, 2012, www.thebulletin.org; Matthew Bunn, Eben Harrell, Martin B. Malin, "Progress on Securing Nuclear Weapons and Materials: The Four-Year Effort and Beyond," Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, March 2012, www.nuclearsummit.org.
[6] Fissile Materials Working Group, "Nuclear Security's Top Priority," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (web edition), June 12, 2012, www.thebulletin.org.
[7] Inventory of International Nonproliferation Organizations and Regimes, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, www.nonproliferation.org.
[8] "Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons," Statement by the Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria, Reaching Critical Will, April 28, 2015, www.reachingcriticalwill.org.
[9] "Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons," Statement by the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations, Reaching Critical Will, April 30, 2015, www.reachingcriticalwill.org.

June 13, 2017
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The Nuclear Disarmament Resource Collection contains information and analysis of nuclear weapons disarmament proposals and progress worldwide, including detailed coverage of disarmament progress in countries who either possess or host other countries' nuclear weapons on their territories.

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2017.