Washington 'Puzzled' That US Nuclear Weapons in NATO States Break Treaty
19:15 22.04.2015(updated 21:08 22.04.2015)
US Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller said that the United States is rather puzzled by Russian claims that Washington is violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by placing its tactical nuclear weapons in NATO member states.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States is surprised by Russian claims that Washington is in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by placing its tactical nuclear weapons in NATO member states, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller stated at a press talk on Wednesday.
"We are rather puzzled as to why all of a sudden this issue has emerged," Gottemoeller said. "It was discussed during the negotiation of the NPT during the late 1960s, the record clearly shows that the United States conveyed at the time that these weapons are not somehow shared with our NATO allies, but in fact remain under the operational control of the United States."
Gottemoeller added the Soviet Union never mentioned that US deployment of nuclear weapons constituted a violation of the NPT, nor has Russia up until today.
On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the United States is in violation of the NPT by placing tactical nuclear weapons in five NATO member states and allowing citizens of those countries to service and develop skills related to the use of tactical nuclear weapons systems. Lavrov noted that the practice is a serious risk for the NPT.
The exact number of US tactical nuclear weapons deployed in Belgium, Italy, Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands is unknown, but the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation research group estimates that around 500 warheads are deployed in those countries.
The NPT is an international treaty to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and technology as well as to promote peaceful uses of nuclear technology.
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