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, Belarus 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

2 Nuclear power reactors in operation


  • Russia reportedly deployed tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus in June 2023
  • 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
  • Ratified the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in 1975


  • 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
  • Ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in 1996

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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“A Pivotal Juncture:” Ambassador Laura Holgate on the Future of Nuclear Security

Atomic Pulse

“A Pivotal Juncture:” Ambassador Laura Holgate on the Future of Nuclear Security

Ahead of the 2024 International Conference on Nuclear Security, U.S. Ambassador to the Vienna Office of the United Nations and the IAEA Laura Holgate joined NTI Co-Chair and CEO Ernest J. Moniz and Vice President for Nuclear Materials Security Scott Roecker for a conversation on “The Future of Nuclear Security.”

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