In a shocking admission, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzhin said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is running drills that simulate the use of nuclear weapons against Russia. Speaking to TASS, Galuzin revealed how NATO’s countries that don’t have nuclear weapons work together on nuclear projects, control American weapons of mass destruction, and make plans to attack Russia.
He said that it means that non-nuclear member states of the alliance take part in defence planning involving nuclear weapons and that their specialists receive training to handle nuclear warheads produced by the United States. In addition, numerous scenarios in which technology is used against Russia are practised in various exercises.
According to Galuzin, the United States has kept its nuclear warheads on the territory of non-nuclear NATO member states without any severe threats ever since the Cold War era. According to the high-ranking diplomat, the Russian side has repeatedly emphasised that this negatively affects the security of the international community and Europe.
At the same time, during the NATO summit that took place in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July, decisions were made by Western nations, notably in the sphere of military planning, to increase the military capacity and develop the alliance’s infrastructure along the borders of the Union State (Russia and Belarus). He continued by saying that the crucial part that nuclear weapons play in discouraging possible adversaries of NATO was emphasised once more.
Given these circumstances, Galuzin said that any more efforts by NATO concerning legitimate actions to bolster the security of the Union State (Russia and Belarus) ” appear unfounded” and will only lead to greater escalation, including an increase in the likelihood of nuclear accidents.
According to Galuzin, Russia anticipates that Washington and the capitals of Western European countries will comprehend this. He said deploying Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus is a reciprocal action in response to the increased threats from the West, adding that the step entirely complies with all principles of international law and does not contradict the international commitments of Russia and Belarus. He asserted that deploying Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus was a response to the heightened threats from the West.
Galuzin, commenting on Warsaw’s anxiety about the placement of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus and the migration of the Wagner private military group there, stated that “recurring phobias” of the Polish leadership towards Moscow and Minsk “can hardly surprise anyone anymore.”
Poland insisted on so many different things, he said, adding that he believes that all of Warsaw’s attempts to promote the discussed topic in the information field are solely connected with the Polish authorities’ desire to increase their significance in the eyes of NATO partners and to justify to its citizens the multibillion-dollar expenditures on military purchases for the Polish Armed Forces, as well as the provision of military and other assistance to Ukraine.
It’s important to note that Russian President Vladimir Putin has told his country’s nuclear forces to enter a “special regime of battle duty” because of the full-scale military attack on Ukraine.
How US Nuclear Weapons in NATO Service Were Discovered
Approximately 150 nuclear weapons of the United States are stored in Europe and Turkey. Six distinct military installations in Europe are home to various B61 bombs, each capable of producing 18 megatons in varying configurations.
This information was kept confidential until 2019. The secret was revealed after publishing a report titled “A New Era of Nuclear Deterrence? “Modernization, Arms Control, and the Nuclear Forces of the Allies” by a committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO member states. This memo detailed the locations and categories of nuclear weapons maintained by the United States in Europe. After some time, the document drafted by Canadian Senator Joseph Day and uploaded to the internet was revised to remove all classified information. Interested parties had already had the opportunity to investigate it by that point.
It has been determined that weapons of mass destruction are stored at six distinct airbases in five countries. The locations of these air bases are as follows: Germany (Buchel), Italy (Aviano and Ghedi), Belgium (Kleine Brogel), the Netherlands (Volkel), and Turkey (İncirlik). There, underground storage facilities explicitly designed for them have been constructed. During periods of peace, members of the US military bear sole responsibility for their safety.
According to nuclear weapons expert Hans Kristensen, each European base stores approximately twenty warheads, whereas Turkey stores about fifty.
During the height of the Cold War, in the 1950s, the US began deploying its nuclear arsenal on the territory of its allies. At one stage, Europe was home to over 7,000 nuclear weapons. Since then, the numbers have decreased substantially, a process that began with the signing of the Soviet-American Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. But this decline is unrelated to the end of US-Soviet rivalry.
For example, the US did not remove nuclear weapons from Ramstein Air Base until 2007. Previously, they were also stored at the Norvenich and Spangdahlem Air Bases in Germany, the Lakenheath Air Base in the United Kingdom, the Araxos Air Base in Greece, and the Incirlik and Balikesir Air Bases in Turkey. Nuclear weapon storage facilities remain at each location and could theoretically be used again.
The presence of bomber aircraft capable of transporting tactical nuclear weapons is another indicator of the possible location of these weapons. These include the Tornado GR4 (German), F-15E, F-16A/B, F-16C, and F-35A Lightning II, deployed in Europe.
Possible locations for storing American weapons include Romania and Poland. As a result of deteriorating relations between Ankara and Washington, the United States investigated the possibility of relocating B61 weapons from Incirlik Air Base to Romania. But it is still being determined whether these plans were implemented. As for Poland, Warsaw itself provided this opportunity to the US. Multiple bombers capable of transporting nuclear weapons are stationed in the country on a rotational basis.
The US military and the countries that store nuclear weapons are prepared to use nuclear weapons in the event of a conflict. Pilots fly with dummy bombs affixed to the bottom of their fighter aircraft for practice.