Russia called for a ban on American nuclear weapons in parts of Europe, saying the U.S. is breaking an international agreement by holding joint nuclear training missions with NATO allies that don’t possess such weapons.
Using ships and airfields as well as training crews from non-nuclear states from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in such exercises is “in direct contradiction to the letter and spirit” of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT, ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement on its website.
“There can be only one solution,” Lukashevich said. Russia is calling for “the return of all nonstrategic nuclear weapons” to U.S. territory as well as “a ban on stationing them abroad, elimination of infrastructure for their rapid deployment, and denial of training for the preparation and use of nuclear weapons” by the militaries of non-nuclear states.
The dispute flared as relations between Russia and the U.S. and NATO are at their worst since the Cold War over the conflict in Ukraine. Deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons on the territories of NATO allies “is consistent with the NPT” and the treaty doesn’t prohibit such basing and planning arrangements, which were in place before it came into force in 1970, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on March 19.
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