The Russian Foreign Ministry commented on the issue over the fact that at a briefing on March 19, the U.S. Department of State and its representative Jen Psaki said that the deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons in NATO's European allies and joint training of skills on their application with non-nuclear NATO member states complied with the provisions of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), Joinfo.ua reports with reference to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
In his commentary, a Spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Lukashevich said:
"Jen Psaki frankly distorts the facts, arguing that U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe "is always under control of the United States and is never sent to other countries." In fact, the so-called "joint nuclear mission" of NATO provides for participation of the European non-nuclear member states of the Alliance in a joint nuclear planning and testing of skills of nuclear weapons use with involvement of carrier aircraft, their crews, airport infrastructure and ground supporting services of these states. The last training of this kind – Stedfast Nun – was held in the autumn of last year in Italy."
Also, Lukashevich said that it was contrary to the spirit and letter of the NPT.
"As it is known, Article 1 of the NPT prohibits the nuclear countries to transfer control over nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices to any recipient neither directly, nor indirectly. In turn, Article 2 of the NPT prohibits non-nuclear countries to take this control from someone else, neither directly, nor indirectly. However, the Alliance persist to pursue the same line. Such an abnormal situation has existed for more than forty years, but that does not make it more acceptable for us. We believe that it is at least inappropriate to refer to the "statute of limitations" and some "understanding" that might have been allegedly made while agreeing upon the text of the NPT, as the American side does. The problem is obvious, and it can have only one solution – the return of all non-strategic nuclear weapons to the national territory, the ban on its placement abroad, the elimination of the corresponding infrastructure enabling rapid deployment of these weapons, as well as the refusal to carry out training (exercises) associated with the preparation and use of nuclear weapons of the armed forces of states that do not possess such weapons," reads the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry.