CBRN Assessment

NATO’s rhetoric about no new nuclear missiles in Europe to counter Russia is unclear

14 February 2019

NATO has insisted it has no plans to deploy new nuclear missiles in Europe in response to Russia’s nuclear-capable 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile, developed in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

However, careful reading of fresh statements by allied officials and diplomats, both public and private, strongly suggests that the alliance is not excluding that possibility from its range of options, regardless of the timeframe of their implementation.

“NATO does not have any intention of deploying new nuclear weapons in Europe,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on 13 February after an INF discussion by allied defence ministers who met in Brussels.

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