Russia Proposes that U.S. Remove Its Nuclear Weapons from European Territory
Jan. 27, 2022 (EIRNS)—In an interview published today with TASS, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control Vladimir Yermakov said that Moscow has proposed that the U.S. return all of its nuclear weapons stationed in Europe to American territory and bring an end to NATO’s nuclear sharing program. “We insist that NATO’s ‘joint nuclear missions’ should be stopped immediately, all the American nuclear weapons be returned to U.S. national territory and the infrastructure that allows their rapid deployment should be eliminated. This aspect is one of the elements of the package of measures proposed by us to Washington in the context of considering the issues of security guarantees,” he said. Yermakov observed that the U.S. has some 200 B61 nuclear gravity bombs in Europe and engages with non-nuclear weapons countries in training to use them against targets on Russian territory.
Yermakov also affirmed that Russia’s proposals for a mutual moratorium on the deployment of land-based intermediate- and shorter-range ballistic missiles is still on the table. If required political decisions are made in favor of such joint efforts, experts could start working on technical issues in depth, he said. A missile crisis cannot be avoided, if efforts fail to ensure restraint and predictability in this sphere, he said.
“The initiatives that we put forward earlier to ensure restraint and predictability in the missile sphere in the wake of the termination of the INF [Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces] Treaty had been ignored for a long time and were actually rejected at the NATO summit in June 2021,” he said. “We keep insisting on the priority task of reaching a fundamental understanding that the problems arising in this sphere should be addressed immediately. Otherwise, new ‘missile’ crises cannot be avoided,” the senior Russian diplomat cautioned.
Moscow observes U.S. preparations for deploying land-based intermediate- and shorter-range missiles in Europe and the Asia-Pacific, he said. “The United States continues active testing of advanced land-based intermediate- and shorter-range missiles and is making preparations for their deployment in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. All these moves are taking place with the acquiescence or even with the support of NATO members,” Yermakov pointed out.
As for broader arms-control initiatives, Yermakov said progress is possible only if it’s based on consensus among all countries. Yermakov stated that Russia holds a strong belief that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and that it must never be unleashed. “For a long time, we have consistently promoted the idea of reaffirming this principle by all the states of the nuclear five,” he said, referring to the Jan. 3 statement on preventing nuclear war, signed by the five official nuclear weapons powers—Russia, United States, China, U.K. and France. “I would like to hope that in the current difficult conditions of international security, the approval by the leaders of the nuclear powers of this type of political statement will help reduce the level of tension and curb the arms race, help build confidence and form the basis for future control over offensive and defensive arms inasmuch as they are interconnected, as well as measures to reduce risks,” Yermakov said.