BRUSSELS, October 9 (RIA Novosti)
- Putin Criticizes NATO as Cold War Throwback
- Rasmussen to Remain NATO Chief for Another Year
- Obama Calls For 'World Without Nuclear Weapons'
- U.S. Hails Russia’s Readiness for Nuclear Cuts
- U.S. Mulls Steep Nuclear Arsenal Cuts
NATO’s senior body on nuclear matters will hold a ministerial meeting on Tuesday to review the Alliance’s nuclear policy in the light of new developments, NATO press service said.
The Nuclear Planning Group (NPG) is chaired by the Secretary General of NATO and is composed of members of the national delegations of all member countries, except France.
The NPG meets several times a year to discuss aspects of NATO's nuclear policy, planning and force posture, and matters concerning the safety, security and survivability of nuclear weapons.
Once a year the meetings are held at the level of Ministers of Defense.
NATO’s nuclear policy is based on the concept of nuclear sharing, which involves basing nuclear weapons on the territories of non-nuclear weapon states (NNWS).
Three NATO members – the United States, the United Kingdom and France – possess nuclear arsenals.
However, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey all host an estimated 200 US nuclear tactical weapons on their territory.
In the new Strategic Concept adopted by Allies at the Lisbon Summit at the end of 2010, NATO committed to the goal of creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons.
The concept states that “any further steps” to reduce nuclear weapons in Europe “must take into account the disparity with the greater Russian stockpiles of short-range nuclear weapons.”
It also affirms that, “in any future reductions, [NATO’s] aim should be to seek Russian agreement to increase transparency on its nuclear weapons in Europe and relocate these weapons away from the territory of NATO members.”
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If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.