The Russian Ministry of Defence has expressed its concerns regarding the participation of Germany in NATO military exercises «STEADFAST NOON» and «RESILIENT GUARD» where the use of American tactical nuclear weapons was practiced.
The German Defence Attaché in Moscow was invited to the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation to be informed by the Ministry about Moscow's concerns.
Moscow considers the involvement of non-nuclear NATO-States in practicing the scenarios of using a nuclear weapon to violate the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
"The Defence Attaché was told that involving personnel and dual-purpose aviation of non-nuclear NATO-States as the Federal Republic of Germany in practicing the scenarios of using a nuclear weapon is a flagrant violation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons," said the Russian Ministry of Defence in a statement today.
The German military participated in an exercise that simulated how to correctly transport and handle US nuclear weapons, as part of a NATO drill designed to prepare the alliance for nuclear warfare. The NATO exercise, codenamed “Steadfast Noon,” was held at Norvenich Air Base in North Rhine-Westphalia, German media reported.
As for the "Resilient Guard” exercises, they were held at Buchel Air Base. In these exercises, the German Air Force practiced defending the military installation from an attack using US-made Patriot anti-missile systems.
"Such actions lead to lowering the threshold for use of nuclear weapons, incite tensions through Russia-NATO line of contacts, and adversely affect the level of trust in Europe," came in the statement of the Russian Ministry of Defence.
These exercises come this year in the midst of rising tensions between the United States and Russia. The US had pulled out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and now is not showing any clear intentions to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), which is to expire in February 2021.
On 16 October President Vladimir Putin suggested extending the New START for one year, but the destiny of one of the last columns of nuclear non-proliferation remains vague as Washington has not shown any goodwill to extend it so far.