NATO's Newest Member Open To Hosting Nuclear Weapons

The Swedish Prime Minister has said his country would be willing to host nuclear weapons during a war. The North Atlantic Alliance has a nuclear sharing program that has US nuclear weapons deployed in five countries. The Polish leader recently said he hopes Warsaw can one day join the program. 

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on Swedish public radio that Stockholm would be willing to do this only during wartime. "In a war situation it’s a completely different matter. It would depend entirely on what would happen," he explained "In the absolute worst-case scenario, the democratic countries in our part of the world must ultimately be able to defend themselves against countries that could threaten us with nuclear weapons."

Kristersson’s remarks came as Sweden hosted the leaders of Germany, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Iceland to discuss deepening military ties.

"For decades, we have lived very peacefully and without very big threats to Europe. Personally, I think these times are over," Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said during the summit. "With all that we see from the Russian side, we are at the beginning of a new era. It would be wrong if we, as a government, said that you don’t have to deal with this in your everyday life."

Sweden is the newest member of NATO. When Stockholm first requested NATO membership, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia would not object to the move unless more weapons were deployed to Swedish territory. 

"We do not have such problems with Sweden and Finland, which, unfortunately, we have with Ukraine. We have no territorial issues… no disputes… we have nothing that could bother us from the point of view of Finland’s or Sweden’s membership in NATO." Putin continued, "Only they should plainly and clearly realize that there were no threats before, now, if military contingents and infrastructure are deployed there, we will have to respond in a mirror manner and create the same threats to the territories from which threats are created to us."

The alliance has three nuclear weapon states, and the US stores weapons in five additional countries, including Italy, Turkey, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. President Andrzej Duda expressed his willingness to make Poland the sixth country to host nuclear weapons.

"I must admit that when asked about [hosting nuclear weapons], I declared our readiness. Recently, [Russia] has been relocating its nuclear weapons to Belarus," he said. "If our allies decide to deploy nuclear weapons as part of nuclear-sharing also on our territory to strengthen the security of NATO’s eastern flank, we are ready for it."

You will find more infographics at Statista

At the time, a Russian government spokesman said the Kremlin would respond if NATO moved forward with Duda’s proposal. "The military will, of course, analyze the situation if such plans are implemented, and in any case will do everything necessary, [will take] all the necessary retaliatory steps to guarantee our safety," Dmitry Peskov explained.

Via The Libertarian Institute

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