Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday he does not fear the possibility of fresh Western sanctions against his country over the deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus.

In an hours-long televised address to the nation, Lukashenko said Minsk was prepared to defend its sovereignty through any means necessary, including nuclear.

He also said Belarus had deployed a special forces contingent to its southern border with Ukraine "to prevent provocations." (Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Hugh Lawson)