Russia signals tactical nukes reduction

Nuclear bomb detonation

The issue of reducing the number of tactical nuclear weapons might be raised by Russian and U.S. defence officials in a meeting later this month.


In an interview with newspaper Izvestia, leader of the Russian General Staff Nikolay Makarov confirms that negotiations on tactical nukes might follow in wake of the successful talks on strategic weapons.

According to Makarov, the issue might be put on the agenda in a Russian-U.S. meeting already later this month.

Over the last months, several international initiatives have been taken to enhance the focus on the lethal weapons. Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre and four other European Foreign Ministers earlier this year signed a letter calling on NATO to include sub-strategic nuclear weapons in steps towards nuclear disarmament.

Minister Støre has also joint forces with Poland’s Foreign Minister Radoslav Sikorski. The two men have together sent a non-paper on the issue to NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Mr. Sikorski confirmed in a speech at the Norwegian Nobel Institute last week. According to Sikorski, Russia has between 2000 and 3000 tactical nukes in the European part of its country.

Also Sweden’ Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has urged Russia to withdraw its tactical nuclear weapons from the Kola Peninsula. - Moscow should make a commitment to the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from areas adjacent to European Union member states, Bildt said.

The Kola Peninsula is among the places where Russia has a big number of the tactical nuclear weapons in storage.


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