NATO Chief Says Alliance Discussing Putting Nuclear Warheads on Standby

Jun 17, 2024

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – NATO countries are discussing the possibility of deploying more nuclear warheads and putting them in combat readiness as a deterrent factor, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.

“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 told The Telegraph newspaper on Sunday.

Stoltenberg added that China is actively investing in its nuclear arsenal, which will grow to 1,000 warheads by the early 2030s.

“And that means that in a not-very-distant future NATO may face something that it has never faced before, and that is two nuclear-powered potential adversaries – China and Russia. Of course, this has consequences,” he said.

At the same time, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said on Monday that nine countries – the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel – continue to modernize their nuclear arsenals, with the number of nuclear warheads on high operational alert increasing.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is ready to use nuclear weapons if the existence of the Russian state is threatened. Russia’s nuclear triad is more advanced than that of any other country, Putin noted.

He added that Russia has a nuclear doctrine which states that the use of nuclear weapons is possible in exceptional cases. The scenarios in which Russia could theoretically use nuclear weapons are outlined in Russia’s military doctrine and in the Basic Principles of State Policy on Nuclear Deterrence.

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