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Russia calls on US to store nuclear weapons only on its own territory

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A file photo of US nuclear warheads

Russia has called on the United States to keep its nuclear weapons only on its own territory, a day after a NATO report unwittingly revealed that Washington has stored some of its nuclear weapons in several European countries, including Turkey.

“Russia deploys and stores its nuclear weapons exclusively on its own territory. We call on the US and NATO to do the same,” said Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on Wednesday.

His comments came a day after The Washington Post said in a report that a recently released — and subsequently deleted — document published by a NATO committee had inadvertently revealed that the US stores 150 items of its tactical nuclear weapons in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey.

The US-based daily said that it had seen “a copy of the document published Tuesday by Belgian newspaper De Morgen.”

The document, which is attributed to Canadian senator Joseph Day and written for the defense and security committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, was titled “A New Era For Nuclear Deterrence? Modernization, Arms Control and Allied Nuclear Forces.”

“These bombs are stored at six US and European bases — Kleine Brogel in Belgium, Buchel in Germany, Aviano and Ghedi-Torre in Italy, Volkel in The Netherlands, and Incirlik in Turkey,” the document said.

The US unilaterally suspended the implementation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Russia earlier this year.

Moscow reciprocated later.

Under the treaty, both sides had been banned from creating ground-launched nuclear missiles with ranges from 500 to 5,500 kilometers. The pact also banned the sides from deploying short and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe.

The US alleged that Russia’s new 9M729 missile was in violation of the INF and had to be dismantled.

Russia rebutted the claim in January by unveiling the missile and its key specifications, saying the missile’s maximum range was about 480 kilometers, well within what was allowed under the INF.

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