The Washington Free Beacon reported yesterday that Russia’s envoy to NATO has stated that Russia will bolster forces in Ukraine and has not ruled out bringing nuclear weapons into Ukraine.
The article reports:
“Everything that we do in Crimea fully complies with all obligations of the Russian Federation under international treaties. We do not violate anything, there are no prohibitions on us deploying certain weapons systems,” said Alexander Grushko, the envoy, when asked if nuclear arms would be placed in Crimea.
Grushko also declined to say whether nuclear arms currently are deployed inside the Ukrainian territory forcibly annexed by Russia in March 2014. He made the remarks in a video press conference from Moscow with reporters in Brussels, where NATO headquarters is located.
European Command spokesman Capt. Greg Hicks said Grushko’s comments were “rhetoric” and a “diatribe” that would not alter the NATO position on the issue.
Russia stopped worrying about NATO when President Obama changed his mind and did not sent the missile shield to Poland.
The United States Congress has asked that the secretary of defense notify them within seven days if Russia brings nuclear weapons into Ukraine and explain the U.S. strategy and response.
The article concludes:
There have also been U.S. intelligence reports indicating Russia plans to deploy nuclear arms in the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, where Iskander short-range missiles are said to be deployed.
Grushko, meanwhile, also called on the United States to withdraw its tactical nuclear weapons from Europe, specifically from Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Turkey.
“I am talking about the practice of the so-called nuclear missions of the NATO states,” he said. “It’s not a new issue, it emerged before the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was signed in 1968.”
“It is strictly forbidden under the NPT. The first article of the treaty prohibits nuclear countries to convey any nuclear arms or other nuclear explosive devices to anyone directly or indirectly,” he added.
“The U.S. must pull out these nuclear bombs to its territory,” Grushko said. “It would be a serious contribution to strategic stability and security in Europe.”
The United States is believed to have around 200 nuclear weapons in Europe. Russia’s tactical nuclear arsenal is at least 2,000 weapons.
If we do not stand up to the Russians at some point, there is a good possibility that they will seize control of more European territory that belongs to countries we are supposed to be allied with.
In November of last year, I posted a story about Ukraine that included the following:
A deal was signed on February 5, 1994, by Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin, John Major and Leonid Kuchma—the then-leaders of the United States, Russia, United Kingdom and Ukraine—guaranteeing the security of Ukraine in exchange for the return of its ICBMs to Moscow’s control. The last SS-24 missiles moved from Ukrainian territory in June 1996, leaving Kiev defenseless against its nuclear-armed neighbor.
That deal, known as the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, was not a formal treaty but a diplomatic memorandum of understanding. Still, the terms couldn’t be clearer: Russia, the U.S. and U.K. agreed “to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine…reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine.”
I don’t think we have lived up to our part of the bargain. Ukraine is one more country that we are supposed to be allied with that the Obama Administration has treated very badly.