MOSCOW, May 19. /TASS/. US rhetoric over the redeployment of American nuclear weapons from Germany to Poland is a factor worsening relations between Russia and NATO, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in response to a statement by US ambassador in Warsaw Georgette Mosbacher about the possibility of bringing NATO’s nuclear weapons closer to Russian borders.
"We hope that Washington and Warsaw are aware of the dangerous nature of such statements, which further worsen Russia-NATO relations during this no easy period in their history, as well as jeopardize the very material basis of European security, harmed as a result of unilateral US steps, in the first place, the pullout from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty," Zakharova is quoted as saying on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website.
"The return of American warheads to the US territory would be a real contribution to strengthening European security. Russia had taken such a move a long time ago by bringing all of its nuclear arms to its national territory," she said.
Zakharova recalled that in fact Mosbacher had addressed Germany with an ultimatum in response to the discussion regarding the expediency of US nuclear weapons’ further presence in Germany. Such statements by the US side, she said, reflect the current condition of transatlantic solidarity: "The main partner takes the liberty of exerting outright pressure and in some cases resorting to blackmail of its allies."
"All this is aimed at making them increase the spending on the purchase of US defense industry products, including dual purpose aircraft. In the meantime, it is the allies’ prerogative to decide how to build relations among themselves," Zakharova said.
She stressed that Russia regarded such joint nuclear missions within NATO as violations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Also, the possible redeployment of nuclear weapons closer to Russia’s borders which Mosbacher had mentioned would constitute a violation of NATO’s obligations under the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation of May 27, 1997.