Belarus Flag for Belarus

Country Spotlight

Belarus gained independence following the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union and inherited a nuclear weapons infrastructure. It transferred all remaining nuclear weapons to Russia by 1996. Today, Belarus is a close ally of Russia and participated in Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine. In February 2022, Ukraine amended its constitution to allow Russia to deploy nuclear weapons on Belarussian territory.

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Region   Former Soviet Union

Article 18 Until 2022, enshrined Belarus's non-nuclear weapon status

1992 Transferred all Soviet chemical weapons back to Russia

1st Nuclear power plant currently under construction


  • 2022 constitutional change renounced Belarus's non-nuclear weapon status
  • In August 2022, announced upgrades to its Su-25 fighter aircraft to carry nuclear weapons
  • Possesses 230 kg of highly-enriched uranium (HEU); talks to repatriate HEU to Russia collapsed in 2011


  • Has never possessed an offensive biological weapons program


  • Did not inherit any major missile production or design facilities from the Soviet Union
  • Collaborates with Russia on missile design, production, and defense
  • In June 2022, Russia stated it would transfer Iskander-M nuclear-capable missile systems to Belarus


  • Has not attempted to restart a chemical weapons program since the removal of Soviet chemical weapons in the 1990s

Treaties and Regimes Memberships

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The NPT is a treaty aimed at limiting the spread of nuclear weapons through the three pillars of non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

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Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

The CIS is an association that coordinates the facilitation of free movement of goods, services, labor force, and capital between member states. It also promotes cooperation on security matters.

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Treaty on Open Skies

The Treaty on Open Skies authorizes the militaries of States Parties to conduct unarmed reconnaissance flights over other States Parties' territories.

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Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)

The Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) focuses on the physical protection of peaceful use of nuclear materials

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AI and the Bomb: A Conversation with Author James Johnson


AI and the Bomb: A Conversation with Author James Johnson

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Will AI make accidental nuclear war more likely? If so, how might these risks be reduced? Join us for a conversation with Dr. James Johnson, author of AI and The Bomb: Nuclear Strategy and Risk in the Digital Age.


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