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German MP warns US has to take away nuclear weapons if it relocates troops to Poland

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)
The US is estimated to have around 20 nuclear warheads in Germany.

A German lawmaker says the United States has to remove its nuclear weapons  presently kept in Germany and take them to its own soil, in the event of relocating American troops from Germany to Poland.

The chairman of the Left Party faction in the German Bundestag, Dietmar Bartsch, said on Sunday that if the US decides to withdraw their soldiers, then they should take their nuclear weapons with them.”

He further said that “of course, they should take it home, not to Poland.”

His remarks came in reaction to threats by the US Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, who said the Pentagon will move US troops stationed in Germany to Poland if German Chancellor Angela Merkel fails to boost military spending as part of its contribution to the NATO military alliance.

US President Donald Trump has long criticized NATO members that have failed to hit a target of spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) on defense.

He has been specifically calling on the US ally, Germany, to boost its spending, but Berlin’s military spending remains far short at just 1.3 percent of GDP this year

The US currently has just over 35,000 troops stationed in Germany, together with 17,000 US civilian support staff.

The US ambassador in Warsaw, Georgette Mosbacher, said previously that “Poland meets its 2 percent of GDP spending obligation towards NATO.  Germany does not. We would welcome American troops in Germany to come to Poland,” Mosbacher said in a Twitter message.

Trump also suggested the possibility of removing US troops stationed in Germany back in June, when he told a press conference that 1,000 troops for a planned new deployment in Poland would be drawn from those stationed in Germany.

It has long been known that the US stored some of its nuclear weapons in Europe, but the locations remained a secret.

Back in June, the secret was accidentally revealed by a NATO committee report — which was subsequently deleted — but hit the headlines across the continent.

The Belgian newspaper, De Morgen, cited the report as saying that the nuclear weapons — roughly 150 US nuclear bombs — were being stored in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.

"These bombs are stored at six US and European bases — Kleine Brogel in Belgium, Büchel in Germany, Aviano and Ghedi-Torre in Italy, Volkel in The Netherlands and Incirlik in Turkey.” De Morgen wrote.

This drew a stern reaction from nuclear power, Russia, who called on the US at the time to keep its nuclear weapons only on its own territory.

Russia has long criticized the NATO military build-up close to its borders, warning that any increased military presence in Poland could prompt it to step up its military presence in neighboring Belarus.

The German lawmaker also warned that the proposed relocation of US troops from Germany to Poland “will be another dramatic escalation in relations with Russia, which does not correspond to European and German interests.”


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