NATO actions raise risk of nuclear conflict – Russia — Analysis
The US-led alliance’s practice of “nuclear sharing” must end, Moscow’s envoy tells UN atomic conference
US deployments of atomic weapons in non-nuclear NATO countries’ territory goes against the treaty on nonproliferation (NPT), increase conflict risk and hinder disarmament efforts. The Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that this was the message they sent to the UN conference in New York on nuclear nonproliferation.
“NATO openly declared itself a nuclear alliance. There are US nuclear weapons on the territory of non-nuclear allied states in the bloc,”Igor Vishnevetsky was the Russian Foreign Ministry’s deputy director for arms control and nonproliferation.
The non-nuclear NATO member countries are actively participating in the NPT’s Articles II and I, which is a violation of international law. “practical testing”Vishnevetsky said that atomic weapons were used. Such actions “not only continue to be a significant factor negatively affecting international and European security, but also increase the risk of nuclear conflict and generally act as a brake on efforts in the field of nuclear disarmament.”
Moscow’s position is that “US nuclear weapons must be withdrawn to national territory, the infrastructure for their deployment in Europe must be eliminated, and NATO’s ‘joint nuclear missions’ must be terminated,”A transcript from the Foreign Ministry shows that Vishnevetsky addressed the UN conference.
The US Air Force is currently equipped with approximately 150 nuclear bombs in NATO bases located in Italy, Germany Turkey, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
Russian delegate touched also on AUKUS (the September 2021 agreement that envisaged the US and UK providing submarines atomic-powered to Australia). The partnership “creates prerequisite for the start of a new arms race in the Asia-Pacific region,”Vishnevetsky spoke.
The withdrawal of US atomic weapons from non-nuclear NATO states was one of the key planks of Russia’s security proposal, presented to the US and NATO in December 2021. It was not addressed by Washington or the military bloc in their responses sent to Moscow last January.
The conference began when Antony Blinken, US Secretary Of State accused Russia of “reckless, dangerous nuclear saber-rattling”This is the goal “those supporting Ukraine’s self-defense.” Russian diplomat Andrey Belousov responded that Moscow put its nuclear forces on alert to deter NATO aggression, and that the conflict in Ukraine does not rise to Russia’s nuclear threshold.
Belousov addressed US officials’ statements about the possibility of new negotiations regarding strategic arms control. He stated that Russia has received so far nothing. “declarative statements,”But no “concrete proposals.”