Moscow would be pleased if Germany folds the US ‘nuclear umbrella’ in Europe

WARSAW, (BM) – The director of the German Marshall Fund in Warsaw, Michal Baranowski, is confident that it is too early to start talking about the real movement of nuclear weapons from Germany to Poland as a result of Berlin’s withdrawal from the nuclear responsibility sharing program, learned

Read more: A former US diplomat: ‘Nuclear weapons in Poland will provoke Russia’

In an interview with Polskie Radio, he admits that talk of this has been going on for a long time, but only in expert circles. Now they have grown to the level of deep political discussion, which concerns whether Germany, participating in the nuclear responsibility sharing program, will continue to perceive itself as the center of the West and Europe.

Because the decision to withdraw will have very serious consequences both for the whole of NATO and for relations with Russia as a whole.

“Russia would be very happy if it managed to exclude Germany from participating in such actions, if one of the NATO countries came out of such an initiative, and politicians are well aware of this,” the expert notes. In an interview, he emphasizes that all NATO countries should participate in solving this issue, therefore holding a discussion in the format of bilateral relations on the Warsaw-Washington, Berlin-Washington line is short-sighted.

Michal Baranovsky draws attention to the fact that NATO continues to be a nuclear alliance that perceives nuclear weapons as an element of deterrence. The only countries in Europe that possess nuclear weapons are France and the United Kingdom. The European nuclear response is now simply unrealistic. The French, who currently, after Britain’s exit from the EU, remain the last nuclear power of the EU, apparently do not really want to share their weapons with other NATO members in Europe. Therefore, there is no alternative to the US nuclear umbrella over Europe.

“The potential transfer of US nuclear weapons, which is so much talked about now, would be related to the debate on NATO-Russia and the West-Russia relations. This debate would certainly be very controversial for the entire alliance,” the head of the German Marshall Fund emphasizes.

Read more: Russia warns for a crisis in Europe, if US relocated its nuclear arsenal to Poland

“As an expert, I completely agree that the NATO Founding Act – Russia has been violated due to Russia’s actions since at least 2008 – that is, the war with Georgia, not to mention the aggression in Ukraine in 2014. Russia is fully focused on undermining the world order in terms of security in Europe,” emphasizes Baranovsky.

At the same time, he notes that despite the increasingly aggressive policy of Russia, there are states that absolutely do not want to abandon this last fragmentary agreement. He just cites Germany as such a country, which, although it admits that Russia has done a lot of bad things, continues to hope that Russia will someday come to its senses and again abide by the provisions of this document. “In their view, NATO’s withdrawal from the Founding Act would lead to further escalation. However, I do not agree with this opinion,” he adds.

The expert also draws attention to the fact that for a long time Russia has been dismantling the entire structure of the treaties that linked Russia and the United States in terms of disarmament in Europe. At the same time, Russia is developing new types of nuclear weapons, new technologies, and is also increasing its military potential near the NATO border – in the Kaliningrad region.

Therefore, according to Baranovsky, in the present conditions, Germany’s renunciation of US nuclear weapons cannot be a good idea, because this is the only way to restrain Russia. “This logic, however, does not convince the politicians of the German SPD party. Here, their perception of the United States and the president of the country, Donald Trump, as an increasingly less reliable ally, with whom the differences are becoming stronger and on which they want to become less dependent, is of much greater importance,” the expert explains.

He regrets that, unlike Washington or Warsaw, Berlin does not perceive Russia “armed to the teeth” as a threat. According to the head of the German Marshall Fund, this follows from the special specifics of Russia’s perception, and not from the lack of understanding of the consequences caused by its only gaining strength weapons.

Read more: Stoltenberg: NATO’s nuclear weapons defend peace and freedom


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