“Soon, hypersonic weapons will be added to them, which in a real confrontation with NATO can guarantee the destruction of any carriers of American nuclear weapons,” Yuri Netkachev.
PEJOURNAL/Moscow – As it became known to Russia that the United States and other NATO countries will be holding a maneuver in Poland, the preparations for the command and staff exercises announced by the Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu with the Baltic Fleet and the 6th combined army of the Russian Federation Armed Forces, related to the June maneuvers of the Allied Spirit. The American tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) will probably be relocated there from Germany and for Moscow, this is an undesirable scenario.
The US ambassador to Poland, Georgette Mosbacher, wrote in social networks at the end of that “if Germany wants to reduce NATO’s nuclear potential and weaken the alliance, then Poland, which clearly fulfills its obligations, is aware of the risks and is on NATO’s eastern flank, could place these funds at home.”
According to open sources, in the Federal Republic of Germany at the Büchel airbase 20 American tactical freely falling nuclear bombs B61 are stored. The recent debate in Germany on the presence of US nuclear weapons there showed that there are many opponents of the deployment. The head of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in parliament, Rolf Mutzenich, advocated the withdrawal of American tactical nuclear weapons from the country.
Now, in the event of a conflict with the Russian Federation or its allies and with appropriate permission, American nuclear munitions can be delivered to designated areas by German Tornado fighters as part of NATO’s joint nuclear missions.
And such scenarios at the NATO exercises were virtually worked out, following tactical nuclear weapons playing a strategic role in relation to Russia, since the flight time of German fighter jets with nuclear munitions to the Russian borders was several tens of minutes. If the American TNW is deployed in Poland, then aircraft with nuclear warheads, for example, at Kaliningrad, where the headquarters of the Baltic Fleet and its main naval base are located, can appear in a matter of minutes.
Apparently, taking this into account, Sergey Shoigu recently said: “The Western strategic direction remains the most threatened for the military security of the Russian Federation. In order to neutralize emerging threats, we are implementing a set of measures provided for in the Action Plan for 2019–2025. ”
He did not specify what measures these will be. Military expert Lieutenant General Yuri Netkachev believes that all, even hypothetical, nuclear bases and Pentagon facilities in Europe, in particular nuclear weapons in Poland, should be under constant military control by Russia. “In the case of US tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, these weapons, if a war starts, are likely to be destroyed,” he said.
Such actions, in his opinion, can be practiced by the forces of the Baltic Fleet and the 6th Army, which are armed with Iskander tactical complexes and sea-based cruise missiles. “Soon, hypersonic weapons will be added to them, which in a real confrontation with NATO can guarantee the destruction of any carriers of American nuclear weapons,” the expert says.
However, Netkachev is confident that the likelihood of deploying tactical nuclear weapons in Poland is still minimal: “The statement by Georgette Mosbacher is clearly provocative and it was mentioned in order to see the reaction of the Russian side.” In his opinion, the proposal to transfer TNW to Poland contradicts the key provision of the “Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between the Russian Federation and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)” of May 27, 1997. In this document, NATO pledges to “not deploy nuclear weapons in the territory of its new members”, including in Poland.
Senior Brookings Institution employee Stephen Pifer also called Ambassador Mosbacher’s proposal a bad idea. “Placing American nuclear weapons near Russia is the last thing to be done. Let us recall the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, when the Soviet Union deployed nuclear weapons 90 miles from the American coast,” Pifer wrote in an article published on the website of the Institute. According to the expert, the transfer of nuclear weapons from Germany to Poland “would make it more vulnerable to a Russian preventive attack in the event of a crisis or conflict”, would require significant costs and would become “terribly provocative” for Russia.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also responded to the statement by the US ambassador. The comment notes that “the return of American warheads to the United States would be a real contribution to strengthening European security.” “Russia has done so long ago, having returned all nuclear weapons to its national territory,” the Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized.