LONDON, UK, (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The militarization of Europe, especially the Baltic states, is taking place at an accelerated pace. The Baltic countries’ political elites are using the worsening confrontation between the West and Russia for their own purposes: the presence of U.S. and NATO troops on their territory benefits them economically.
In turn, the Pentagon has no plans to stop there. According to a statement made on May 14 by the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control Vladimir Ermakov nuclear weapons are being prepared to use by the U.S. forces in Europe. The pessimistic scenario could begin with the permission of the non-nuclear European states themselves.
“Some countries dependent on Washington pretend that nothing is happening, or they are simply afraid to even think about the provocative nature of the fact that in the 21st century Europe is preparing for the use of nuclear weapons,” Russian diplomat complained.
According to new data, the U.S. has an inventory of 3,800 nuclear warheads.
At the same time, аs for the worrying prospect of the U.S. deploying tactical nuclear weapons in the Baltics, this scenario is now more likely given that the latest modification of the B-61 variable yield nuclear bomb can be placed on any airborne platform, and is not limited to strategic bombers.
Europe now has 200 such bombs. Accordingly, aircrafts at the bases at Zokniai, Lithuania or Amari, Estonia, can carry them onboard. And the pilots of these countries have been trained on how to use such weapons.
According to the report, the weapon exists in two modifications: the B61-3 and the B61-4. A third version, the B61-10, was retired in September 2016. Approximately 230 tactical B61 bombs of all versions remain in the stockpile. About 150 of these (versions −3 and −4) are through to be deployed at six bases in five European countries: Aviano and Ghedi in Italy; Büchel in Germany; Incirlik in Turkey; Kleine Brogel in Belgium; and Volkel in the Netherlands.
The tactical nuclear bombs can be carried by F-15E Strike Eagle and F-16 Falcon fighter jets.
Unfortunately, in the near future, the Baltic states and a several European countries may become victims of the game of “nuclear potentials” of the United States and Russia.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect BulgarianMilitary’s editorial stance.
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Source: The Baltic Word