Russia’s tactical nuclear arms in the Western borders of Belarus topped the main agenda of ongoing talks between Russia and Belarus this week.

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko arrived Wednesday in Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to further strengthen economic and military ties between the two countries. 

A day before Lukashenko’s arrival, Russia’s Defense Department announced that Belarus had been given nuclear power capabilities and military aircraft equipped with nuclear weapons. 

During the first few minutes of the presidents’ photo session in Moscow, international media was alert in catching Putin’s reported shrug after concerned whispers from Lukashenko, calling the Russian strongman a “tired president.” 

As a reply, Putin pushed aside the Belarusian leader’s nudges, referring to their “joint accomplishments.”

“We have done a lot as a result of our joint work in all areas. We will discuss all of this tomorrow. This applies to our cooperation in the international arena and jointly solving questions of ensuring the security of our states.”

For today’s (April 6) official talks, the two presidents will hold a meeting of the Supreme State Council of the Union States as reported to the Kremlin, including implementing provisions for creating a Union State between Russia and Belarus. 

Other bilateral issues on the agenda, apart from Belarus’ readiness at a nuclear weapons springboard, as Kremlin’s Defense Department announced,  include their “retaliatory measures” regarding Finland’s NATO membership.