Støre urges tactical nukes cut

Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs wants tactical nuclear weapons out of Europe. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

As NATO gathers in Chicago for its summit early next week, the foreign ministers of Norway and Poland says it is time to remove tactical nuclear weapons from Europe.


In Chicago, NATO will conclude its Deterrence and Defense Posture Review. In an Op-Ed posted in the New York Times on Tuesday, Jonas Gahr Støre and Radoslaw Sikorski  write on the need for NATO and Russia to include tactical nukes in further weapons reductions talk.

“It is high time to hold a meaningful dialogue between NATO and Russia on nuclear issues in general, and on tactical nuclear weapons in particular,” the two foreign ministers write.

U.S. has an unknown number of tactical nuclear warheads Germany, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. Russia has naval- and air force based tactical nuclear weapons stored on the Kola Peninsula, in short distance from the border to Norway. In addition, strategic nuclear warheads - ready to launch within minutes – are based onboard submarines with homeports along the coast from Murmansk towards the Norwegian border.

Støre and Sikorski say the ratification of the New Start treaty of 2010 raised expectations that arms control would be extended to cover tactical nuclear weapons.

“The Chicago summit should send a strong signal of NATO’s resolve to engage with Russia on nuclear issues. Our aim is to strengthen the partnership between NATO and Russia, and to contribute to Euro-Atlantic security,” the two foreign ministers write.