RIGA - Russian President Vladimir Putin's statement about the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus is another attempt to intimidate the Western countries to back down on supporting Ukraine, President Egils Levits' national security advisor Janis Kazocins, former director of the Constitutional Protection Bureau, said in an interview with TV3 on Tuesday.
He explained that the Russian armed forces are doing very poorly at the moment, because what they had thought to be a three-day war in Ukraine had stalled and brought very little success. Putin is therefore returning to what he believes will most likely intimidate the West into backing down on supporting Ukraine, which is the nuclear threat.
Speaking during a televised interview on Saturday, Putin said Moscow would station the tactical nuclear weapons "without violating our international agreements on nuclear non-proliferation".
In Washington, State Department spokesman Vedant Patel reiterated that the United States was not changing its own nuclear posture and did not have reason to believe Russia was preparing to use a nuclear weapon.
Ukraine said it was seeking an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council over the move.