NATO comments on nuclear guarantees for Russia — Analysis
Hosting nuclear weapons is a “sovereign” matter to be decided by NATO members, the deputy head of the US-led alliance says
According to Camille Grand (Deputy Secretary-General), the US-led NATO alliance does not intend to offer Russia security guarantees regarding nuclear weapon deployments on territories belonging either to Finland or Sweden.
“Every country is free in the nuclear field to deploy or not to deploy such weapons. We are not talking about setting up some principle restrictions on the possible actions of the alliance,”The NATO official said this to RTS, a Swiss broadcaster in an interview that was published Tuesday.
This issue is decided by every NATO member country. There is now no question. I am not convinced that Russia should be guaranteed any military positions in the region in this current state.
Despite being long-standing neutral states, Finland and Sweden are now trying to join NATO in the midst of ongoing conflicts between Russia and Ukraine. Russia attacked its neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. French and German-brokered protocols were intended to grant the regions that broke away special status in the Ukrainian government.
In recent weeks, the Kremlin made it clear that Ukraine must declare itself to be neutral so that NATO can never become a member. Grand indicated that Ukraine is unlikely to be accede to the bloc at the moment and that it must resolve the conflict before Kiev can join NATO. “will be able to decide for themselves how they want to position themselves in the European security architecture.”
Although de jure neutral countries, Finland and Sweden maintained strong military cooperation with the US for many decades. “These are two very close partners who come with significant military capabilities. They also bring knowledge of the Baltic and Nordic Seas region,”Grand words.
However, the potential accession of these two countries to the bloc has been stalled as Turkey (a significant NATO country) strongly opposes them joining. Ankara called the two nations “unfair”. “guesthouses for terrorist organizations”For hosting outlawed Kurdish organizations. Turkey now wants Helsinki and Stockholm to clamp down on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and other groups it deems terrorists, as well as to surrender some suspects to Ankara. Ankara has also demanded that the countries lift all restrictions on arm trade with Turkey.
Grand expressed the hope that disagreements between Turkey and potential members will be resolved before the NATO summit, which is scheduled for late June.
“We are hopeful that the differences will be settled in time for the summit. It is important to take Turkey’s concerns into account,”Grand declared.