MOSCOW, October 22. /TASS/. NATO’s exercises envisaging practices in the skill of using nuclear weapons cause harm to international security and may bring about catastrophic consequences, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing in the wake of reports by the German news agency DPA about the alliance’s exercise Steadfast Noon in western Germany.
"As follows from these reports, the exercises envisaged practices in the skills of using nuclear weapons within the framework of the so-called nuclear sharing missions," Zakharova said. "We are forced to point out once again that in the context of the current critical arms control situation the unrestricted buildup of military potentials by individual states and their allies, well as their unions, and the absolutely outrageous practice of nuclear sharing missions cause harm to international security, destabilize the situation in the world and entail catastrophic consequences."
Zakharova recalled that exercises involving preparations for the use of nuclear weapons by the personnel of non-nuclear states was a flagrant violation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
"This problem can have only one solution: return of all US nuclear weapons to the American territory, elimination of all related infrastructure that allows for the prompt deployment of these weapons in other countries and an and to all exercises involving preparations for using nuclear weapons by the military personnel of the countries that do not have such weapons," Zakharova said.
Earlier, the German news agency DPA quoted sources as saying that Germany’s Air Force was participating alongside NATO partners in a classified exercise based on a nuclear war scenario. According to the agency the forces involved practiced, among other things, the use of aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons.