Stoltenberg: NATO’s nuclear weapons defend peace and freedom

BRUSSELS, (BM) – Without a multilateral agreement to participate in NATO’s nuclear program, more states could again begin to strive for possession of nuclear weapons, so Germany’s contribution is key, says Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a guest article for Frankfurter Allgemeine, learned

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Coronavirus is one of the largest challenges for the whole world since the end of World War II. However, this does not mean that other problems have disappeared. “We are on the verge of a dire security environment in recent decades,” Stoltenberg emphasizes. The terrorist threat continues to exist, authoritarian regimes challenge democracy, nuclear weapons are spreading in countries such as North Korea, and Russia continues to pursue an aggressive policy.

While NATO views its nuclear deterrence program as a political tool, Russia has invested heavily in recent years in its military power and, in particular, in its nuclear arsenal, the Secretary General of the Transatlantic Alliance insists. According to him, Russia deployed in Kaliningrad – just 500 km from Berlin – missiles capable of carrying nuclear charges. “She threatened alliance partners like Denmark, Poland and Romania with nuclear attacks,” Stoltenberg assures in her article. – Russia promised to respect the Ukrainian borders if Ukraine abandons its own nuclear defense. Nevertheless, Russia annexed a part of Ukraine by force.”

“In clear contrast” to this NATO, through arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons, seeks a world without nuclear weapons, Stoltenberg claims. According to him, the alliance has achieved great success in realizing this goal. Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has reduced the number of nuclear weapons in Europe by about 90%. At the same time, Russia committed a “flagrant violation” of the INF Treaty, the NATO Secretary General insists. She deployed new medium-range nuclear missiles that could reach European cities in a short time. On the contrary, NATO said it would not deploy any new land-based nuclear missiles in Europe. “We will continue to support effective deterrence, including through our existing nuclear facilities,” Stoltenberg assures readers of his article.

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In this regard, he welcomes Germany’s clear commitment to NATO and its nuclear deterrence program. Berlin’s position plays a particularly important role now that Europe has celebrated the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. NATO was created on the ruins of this devastating war to ensure peace and freedom for future generations. Germany joined the alliance just 10 years after the end of the war, on May 6, 1955. Since then, it has been a highly regarded member of NATO, with all the relevant advantages and obligations.

As Stoltenberg assures, today NATO’s nuclear agreements are just as important as ever. They contribute to the protection of the entire alliance, Germany, its neighbors and friends, who have their legitimate security interests. In addition, the nuclear program is a multilateral agreement that ensures that the benefits, obligations and risks of deterrence are shared among allies. This is extremely important from a political point of view. This means that the alliance partners jointly make decisions on nuclear policy and support appropriate weapons systems. Such a collective approach gives alliance partners a voice on the issue of nuclear weapons, which they would otherwise not have, explains the NATO Secretary General.

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NATO’s nuclear program is aimed directly at supporting the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, Stoltenberg said in an article. This program has provided European alliance partners with effective nuclear protection for decades. This was crucial in drafting the nuclear non-proliferation treaty because, thanks to the collective nuclear deterrence program, many countries do not need to create their own nuclear weapons. If this program came to an end, many states could again wish to acquire their own nuclear weapons, and this would lead to insecurity in the world, the NATO Secretary General is convinced.

According to him, all partners of the alliance appreciate the role of Germany and its participation in the NATO nuclear program. From the very beginning, Berlin provided its aircraft, which can be used, inter alia, for the nuclear tasks of the alliance. Germany takes an important leading role, relying on many years of cooperation with other NATO partners. For the security of all countries of the alliance, the full implementation of the nuclear program by the Allies is crucial. This also includes the provision of suitable aircraft that are capable of participating in NATO’s nuclear defense, explains Stoltenberg.

“NATO unites democracies to protect our values ​​- freedom and legal statehood,” he writes in a guest article published by the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine. The responsibility of NATO partners for the security of each member of the alliance remains unshakable, Stoltenberg emphasizes. “Our solidarity is our strength. The highest manifestation of this solidarity remains our nuclear deterrence,” he says. – NATO is a defensive alliance. The meaning of NATO’s nuclear weapons is not to provoke conflicts, but to maintain peace and deter aggression. Our alliance is committed to a world free of nuclear weapons.”

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At the same time, Stoltenberg regrets that this has not yet been achieved, and at the moment there are no prerequisites for this. “A world in which Russia, China and other countries have nuclear weapons but is absent from NATO is an unsafe world. Therefore, all partners in the alliance agreed that NATO will remain a nuclear alliance as long as nuclear weapons exist – to guarantee peace and freedom,” Stoltenberg concludes in a guest article for Frankfurter Allgemeine.


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