Germany’s incoming government is being formed by political parties who oppose the presence of US nuclear weapons in the country. With that in mind, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday that Germany has a responsibility to house nuclear weapons.
NATO’s nuclear-sharing strategy places nuclear weapons in several countries in Europe. Germany has no nukes of its own but has between 15 and 20 US B-61 nuclear gravity bombs at the Büchel Airbase and a fleet of Tornado fighter bombers to deliver them.
Ahead of a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Stoltenberg said the NATO nuclear-sharing is the alliance’s “ultimate” security guarantee. “The nuclear weapons we share in NATO provide European allies with an effective nuclear umbrella,” he said.
Merkel is on her way out, and the incoming government is expected to include the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Green Party. According to Stars and Stripes, both parties have in the past called for the removal of the US B-61 bombs from the Büchel Airbase.
The SDP is also known for its friendly stance towards Russia. Gerhard Schröder, a former German chancellor and former leader of SDP, is the chairman of the board of Nord Stream AG, the company in charge of completing the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline that will connect Russia and Germany.