NATO discussing deployment of more nuclear weapons due to threats from Russia, China – Stoltenberg
Jens Stoltenberg (Photo: NATO press service)

NATO is negotiating the deployment of more nuclear weapons in the face of the growing threats from Russia and the People's Republic of China, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview with The Telegraph.

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The official added that the bloc should show the world its nuclear arsenal to send a direct message to its enemies.

There have been consultations among NATO members on removing missiles from storage and putting them on standby. He called for transparency in this as a means of deterrence.

"I won’t go into operational details about how many nuclear warheads should be operational and which should be stored, but we need to consult on these issues. That’s exactly what we’re doing," Stoltenberg said.

The official said that "nuclear transparency" should be the cornerstone of NATO's nuclear strategy to prepare the Alliance for what he called "a more dangerous world".

Secretary General Stoltenberg noted that transparency helps to convey a clear message that NATO is a nuclear alliance.

And while the goal of the bloc is a world without nuclear weapons, as long as they exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance, he said.

"Because a world where Russia, China and North Korea have nuclear weapons, and NATO does not, is a more dangerous world," Stoltenberg explained.

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The official also warned that China, in particular, is investing heavily in modern weapons, including a nuclear arsenal that will grow to 1,000 warheads by 2030.

The secretary general stated that this means that in the not too distant future, NATO may face something it has never faced before – two potential adversaries with nuclear weapons, Russia and China.

In general, the number of active nuclear weapons in NATO is secret, but it is estimated that the UK has 40 out of 225 deployed at any one time, while the US has about 1,700 out of 3,700, The Telegraph writes.

According to various estimates, France, the third nuclear power in the Alliance, has a total of 300 nuclear warheads.

Stoltenberg also noted that the United States and its allies in Europe are currently modernizing their nuclear deterrent in the face of the growing threat from Russia.

"The US is modernising their gravity bombs for the nuclear warheads they have in Europe and European allies are modernising the planes which are going to be dedicated to Nato’s nuclear mission," he added.

The NATO chief refused to discuss how many nuclear warheads should be removed from storage and put on standby, but said that consultations had been held on the issue.

According to various estimates, Russia has deployed 1,710 nuclear weapons, out of a total of 5,580. The US Department of Defense says that as of 2023, China had a total of 500 warheads.

On the evening of June 13, the USS Helena arrived in Cuba, where Russian ships are already based.

The United States said that it did not see any military threats due to the entry of Russian warships into the port of Cuban Havana.