On Tuesday, Russia accused the United States of violating the terms of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). Moscow asked Washington to remove all its non-strategic nuclear weapons from Europe. Last week, the U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the American missiles in Europe were in “constant control of the United States.”
U.S. violating Article 1 and 2 of NPT, Russia claims
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich called her statement “distorted,” according to the Russian news agency TASS. Lukashevich said the United States was breaking the 1968 NPT by conducting join nuclear training missions with its NATO allies that don’t have any nuclear weapons. Using airfields, ships and training crews from non-nuclear NATO states was “in direct contradiction to the letter and spirit” of the NPT, Russia said.
Lukashevich said there was only one solution. Washington must take back all the non-strategic nuclear weapons to the U.S. territory. Russia also called for a ban on stationing nukes abroad, and elimination of infrastructure necessary for the rapid deployment of nuclear weapons. Lukashevich said the Article 1 of NPT prohibits a country from transferring its nukes to other parties. The Article 2 prohibits a country that lacks the nuclear know-how from gaining access to nuclear weapons.
U.S. deployment consistent with the treaty
Russia alleged that the U.S. deployment of nukes in Europe violated both these terms of the international agreement. Jen Psaki said that the deployment was “consistent with the NPT” and the agreement didn’t prohibit such planning and basing arrangements. Earlier this week, Russia had asked the U.S. not to deploy its missile defense system THAAD in South Korea, saying that such a move could threaten regional security.
Tensions between NATO and Russia intensified over the weekend when a top Russian diplomat warned Denmark that it may become a target of Russian nuclear weapons if it joined NATO’s missile shield. On Tuesday, Sweden intercepted four Russian bomber jets over the Baltic region with their transponders turned off. Sweden identified two Russian Backfire bombers being escorted by two Flanker fighter jets.