Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, announced large-scale nuclear exercises. He made the announcement after Russia warned it would withdraw from the global nuclear test ban agreement.
NATO exercises “Steadfast Noon” take place every year and last about a week. They include, among others: fighters capable of carrying nuclear weapons are involved, but are not equipped with armed bombs.
“It’s a routine training event that takes place every year in October,” Stoltenberg said. – This year the training will take place on… ItalyCroatia and the Mediterranean Sea – he added.
As the Secretary General emphasized, the exercises will help ensure “the credibility, effectiveness and security of our nuclear deterrent and will send a clear signal that NATO will protect and defend all allies.”
Stoltenberg noted that Russia’s war against Ukraine is a reminder of the important role that NATO’s nuclear weapons play in deterrence.
Russia plans to withdraw from the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
The Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was adopted in 1996. It was signed by the presidents of Russia and the US, but has never been ratified by United States.
On Tuesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that Moscow would withdraw from the treaty. It will only resume nuclear tests if Washington does so first.
According to Stoltenberg, the move “shows Russia’s lack of respect and continued disregard for its own international obligations.” “This is reckless and threatens global norms prohibiting nuclear testing,” he added.
Stoltenberg assured that NATO allies have no plans to restart the tests. He accused Vladimir Putin of trying to “use nuclear rhetoric to dissuade NATO allies from supporting Ukraine, but will fail because a Ukraine victory is in our security interest.”
Main photo source: OLIVIER MATTHYS/PAP/EPA