NATO members set to say they won’t deploy land-based nukes in Europe
WASHINGTON - After US President Joe Biden's meeting with other heads of state scheduled for June 14 in Brussels, NATO allies are ready to formally oppose the alliance to deploy ground-based nuclear missiles in Europe, Defense News said has experienced.
The position, which reflects earlier statements by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, will be recorded in a draft communiqué for publication after the NATO summit, according to an advisor to the US Senate and a European official who spoke to the government on condition of anonymity accurate document kept.
The move is seen as a possible way to reduce tensions with Moscow and to initiate an arms control dialogue ahead of the US-Russia summit in Geneva on June 16.
NATO discussions come amid news that Moscow will again propose a moratorium on land-based medium- and short-range missiles, Russian state media reported this week. NATO and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The issue has been an open question since Russia deployed land-based SSC-8 missiles, which the US believes are in violation of the 1987 Medium-Range Nuclear Missile Treaty. This in turn led to the then President Donald Trump resigning from the INF Treaty in 2019. (Russia has claimed the US violated the treaty, which US officials denied.)
The stationing of new land-based missiles by NATO in Europe is theoretical. Stoltenberg said for the first time last year after a meeting of the alliance's nuclear planning group that it was not planned, despite noting that some allies were planning to acquire new air and missile defense systems.
7 questions to the Chairman of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly
After the Trump administration and NATO rejected Russia's proposed moratorium in 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron called for a review of the moratorium.
Biden, whose approval is required for the communiqué, would likely be lauded by arms control advocates but would receive a blow from restrictive nuclear weapons proponents in Congress should the ground-based nuclear missile ban become official in Europe.
Tim Morrison, who oversaw Trump's nuclear portfolio on Trump's National Security Council and is now a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, said the previous administration rejected Russia's moratorium offer because it viewed the country as a dishonest partner in arms control. Morrison believes that giving up the option to use the weapons in Europe would deprive the US of bargaining power at the upcoming Geneva summit.
“If this is a unilateral concession to Russia, it's a terrible idea; and if it is a bilateral concession it is not much better because Russia cannot be trusted, ”he said. "Why should we take off the table an option that we may need in the future to respond to warlike actions by Russia?"
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