Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s answer to a Russian media question regarding US Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher’s statement on the possibility of relocating US nuclear weapons based in Germany to Poland
Question: On May 15, US Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher presumed in her Twitter account that Poland could house the US nuclear capabilities currently based in Germany. Will you comment on this idea?
Maria Zakharova: Of course, we noted Madam Mosbacher’s tweet posted in response to an article by her counterpart in Germany, Richard Grenell, about the contribution Berlin is expected to make to NATO’s nuclear policy. In light of the growing debates in Germany regarding the expediency of the continued presence of non-strategic US nuclear weapons in Germany, the US Ambassador to Germany actually presented an ultimatum, saying that Berlin, instead of eroding the trans-Atlantic solidarity, should be more responsible about its obligations – specifically, according to Grenell, clearly confirm its commitments to sustaining the US nuclear weapons in Europe, and through increased and continued investments in NATO’s nuclear potential.
The US ambassador’s article provided a clear picture of the state of trans-Atlantic solidarity, when the main partner takes the liberty to openly put pressure on and even blackmail its allies. The goal is to force them into increasing contributions to military programmes and buying US-made weapons, including dual-capable aircraft. On the other hand, it is for the allies themselves to choose the form of their relationship.
However, the scale of the problem has broken out of the limits of internal NATO discussions. Russia’s position on NATO’s nuclear sharing is well known. We believe that it directly violates Articles I and II of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Madam Mosbacher went even further in her tweet, suggesting that nuclear weapons and infrastructure (“capabilities”) could be moved closer to the Russian border. Now, this is a clear violation of one of the main provisions of the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between the Russian Federation and NATO signed on May 27, 1997. It runs as follows: “The member States of NATO reiterate that they have no intention, no plan and no reason to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of new members, nor any need to change any aspect of NATO’s nuclear posture or nuclear policy – and do not foresee any future need to do so.”
The leaders of all the bloc’s countries signed those guarantees.
We do hope that Washington and Warsaw are aware of the dangerous nature of such statements, which can only aggravate the far from positive Russia-NATO relations and even erode the material basis of European security, which has been undermined by US unilateral moves, primarily the withdrawal from the INF Treaty.
What can really strengthen European security is the withdrawal of US warheads to the United States. Russia returned its nuclear weapons to its national territory long time ago.