Saturday, February 20, 2010
Five NATO members want US nukes out of Europe
Five NATO member states want the United States to remove all its nuclear weapons, mostly deployed during the Cold War, from Europe.
NATO members Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway are expected to make the request "in the coming weeks."
The five argue that the "nuclear arms on European soil belonging to other NATO member states are removed," said a spokesman for Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme.
Former NATO secretary general, Willy Claes, has also called for the withdrawal of US nukes from Europe. However, current NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has cautioned European nations against rushing to clear themselves of US weapons, AFP reported.
Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands are believed to hold some of the roughly 200 US nuclear weapons that remain in Europe. However, most of the nukes are estimated to be in Italy and Turkey.
At the height of tension with the then-Soviet Union, the United States reportedly fielded thousands of such armaments throughout the continent.