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Moscow warns European countries against hosting US nukes

Such sites would be considered legitimate targets in a direct conflict, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry

Northern European facilities housing American nuclear weapons would be considered legitimate military targets in a direct confrontation between Moscow and NATO, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.

The comments come as Finland’s newly elected President Alexander Stubb recently boasted that NATO membership gives his country a “real nuclear deterrent” in the form of American missiles.

“You don’t have to be a military planner to understand that such objects will be a source of direct threat and, naturally, will inevitably be included in the list of legitimate targets determined by the scenario of a direct military clash between our country and NATO,” Zakharova told a news conference in Sochi on Wednesday, commenting on Stubb’s remarks. “And we understand that this is exactly what the US and its satellites are pushing for,” she noted.

Contrary to the expectations of some top-level officials, the deployment of US nuclear weapons will worsen the security of host countries, rather than strengthen it, Zakharova stressed.

Finland, which shares a 1,300-kilometer-long border with Russia, became the newest NATO member last April. Stubb, who was inaugurated this month, said during his election campaign that he would be open to allowing American nuclear weapons to be transported through – but not stored on – Finnish territory, calling these weapons of mass destruction “a guarantee of peace.” He reiterated this stance shortly after his inauguration. However, the Nordic country’s current legislation forbids the storage and transportation of nuclear weapons on its territory.

READ MORE: Finland’s new president hails American nuclear weapons

Nevertheless, in December the Finnish government signed a defense military agreement with Washington, giving the US unrestricted access to 15 facilities on its soil to store military equipment and ammunition.

The move drew criticism from Moscow. Zakharova pointed out at the time that the defense deal essentially gives Washington control over all of Northern Europe. The Russian Foreign Ministry also said that the current Finnish authorities are fully responsible for transforming the region from an area of neighborly relations to one of confrontation.

March 06, 2024 at 09:59PM

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