NATO Debates Deploying Additional Nuclear Weapons

( — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday that the alliance countries should be consulting on deploying more nuclear weapons in light of the increasing threats from Russia and China.

In an interview with the UK Telegraph, Stoltenberg said that while he would not discuss details about the number of nuclear warheads that should be stored or operational, the member countries do consult on those issues.

He explained that transparency on the issue would reiterate that NATO is a nuclear alliance and while its aim is “a world without nuclear weapons,” in a world where countries like China, Russia, and North Korea have nukes, NATO would “remain a nuclear alliance.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned repeatedly that Russia would use nuclear weapons to defend its sovereign borders and has accused the West of leading the world to a nuclear confrontation through its support of Ukraine.

Typically, NATO does not speak often about its nuclear arsenal. However, it is common knowledge that the United States has deployed its nuclear weapons in several European locations.

Last week, Stoltenberg described nuclear weapons as the alliance’s “ultimate security guarantee” and a way to preserve peace.

The Kremlin blasted Stoltenberg for his Telegraph interview and accused him of further escalating tensions in Europe.

In a press briefing on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Stoltenberg’s remarks contradicted a statement issued during the Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland over the weekend that made it clear that the threat or use of nuclear weapons in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine was not an option.

Peskov said Stoltenberg’s comments were the latest in the West’s “escalation of tension.”

NATO has since clarified Stoltenberg’s comments.

NATO spokesperson Farah Dkhlallah explained in a statement on Monday that the alliance was committed to remaining a “safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent,” and to achieve that, the alliance was undergoing a modernization program to replace its older weapons and aircraft. However, Dkhlallah insisted that, aside from that, there were no changes in NATO’s nuclear posture.

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