Members of NATO are allegedly set to formally oppose the deployment of ground-based nuclear missiles in Europe by NATO, discussions initiated after the speculations that Russia will propose a ban on the deployment of land-based intermediate-and shorter-range missiles, Defense News reports.
This position is in line with Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s previous comments and is aimed as a possible de-escalation mechanism to calm the tensions with Russia and a debate igniter ahead of June 16 meeting of Biden and Putin in Geneva.
Although several members announced plans to acquire additional air and missile defense systems, the deployment of new land-based missiles by NATO in Europe is only theoretical, as Stoltenberg stated also confirmed.
The possible deployment ban of nuclear missiles in Europe that needs Biden’s approval to become official might earn him strong points with arms control activists at home, but might also entice backlash nuclear weapons race advocates.
The United States unilaterally withdrew from the INF Treaty in 2019 after claiming that Russia violated it by deploying land-based 9М729, or SSC-8 in NATO classification, missiles, which Russia denied.
To prove the point, Russian President Vladimir Putin later announced a new initiative to resolve the growing tensions in Europe, claiming Moscow’s ready to refrain from deploying its 9M729 missiles on the European part of the country if NATO agrees to do the same.
Putting also suggested cross-inspections of the 9M729 missiles located in Kaliningrad and the Aegis Ashore complexes with Mk-41 launchers at U.S. and NATO bases in Europe.