Early voting has ended in Belarus on a constitutional referendum to allow Russia to store nuclear weapons in Belarusian territory, Foreign Brief reported.
The referendum, if passed, would change Article 18 of the Belarusian constitution, which calls on the country to stay neutral.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been a long-time ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and is expected to support Russia to a greater extent if the constitutional amendment passes.
“If necessary, if such stupid and mindless steps are taken by our rivals and opponents, we will deploy not only nuclear weapons, but super-nuclear and up-and-coming ones to protect our territory,” Lukashenko said on February 17, the state-run Belta news agency reported.
NATO nations believe the amendment will be passed and deepen Russia's alliance with Belarus.
The vote comes as Russia has launched a full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine.