BRUSSELS, November 19. /TASS/. US nuclear weapons may end up in Eastern Europe if Germany removes them from its territory, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a conference on Friday.
‘’I expect that Germany will continue to be part of nuclear sharing because it is so important for Europe, and it is a multilateral framework,’’ he said at a conference organized by the German Atlantic Association and the Federal Academy for Security Policy. ‘’The alternative for NATO nuclear sharing is different kinds of bilateral arrangements.’’
‘’It is for Germany to decide whether there’s nuclear weapons in your country but the alternative is we end up with nuclear weapons in other countries of Europe, also to the east of Germany,’’ he went on to say.
Stoltenberg also said, ‘’Our aim is a world free of nuclear weapons. But as long as others have them, NATO must have them too.’’
He welcomed the talks between Russia and the US on strategic stability, including the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.
NATO’s nuclear sharing arrangement provides the legal grounds for deployment of US nuclear weapons in Europe’s non-nuclear member countries as part of the alliance’s nuclear deterrence concept.
Under the terms of the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany, which took effect on March 15, 1991, Germany renounced the manufacture, possession of, and control over nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. By the end of June 1991, the USSR withdrew all its nuclear forces from Eastern Germany. However, Germany is still hosting US nuclear weapons as part of NATO’s deterrence strategy. Up to 20 US B61 tactical nuclear bombs are stationed, according to unconfirmed reports, at the Buchel Air Base.