Germany’s incoming government said in a coalition deal that it will continue hosting US nuclear weapons.
The announcement comes after some speculation that the new government might be opposed to the presence of nuclear weapons based on earlier comments by members of the political parties forming the coalition. The government is being formed by the Social Democratic Party(SDP), the Green Party, and the Free Democrats.
Germany has no nuclear weapons 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 as part of a NATO agreement.
Members of the Greens and the SDP have previously voiced opposition to the arrangement, causing NATO to press the country to continue hosting the nukes. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said if Germany stopped hosting the nukes, the alliance would move them further east, closer to Russia.
“As long as nuclear weapons play a role in NATO’s strategic concept, Germany has an interest in participating in strategic discussions and planning processes,” the coalition said. Olaf Scholz of the SDP, considered a center-left party, will replace Angela Merkel as German Chancellor and is expected to be sworn in early next month.