MOSCOW, April 22 (Sputnik) – The United States is breaching the Non-Proliferation Treaty by placing its tactical nuclear weapons in the territories of five European countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.
"The Americans are breaching the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons because they have placed their tactical nuclear weapons in the territories of five countries in Europe," Lavrov said during an interview to Russian radio stations Sputnik, Ekho Moskvy, and Govorit Moskva.
According to Lavrov, a program exists within NATO framework "in accordance to which citizens of those five states and citizens of other NATO member states, excluding the United States, are involved in servicing, having skills of using those tactical nuclear weapons systems." This is a serious risk for the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Lavrov said.
The exact number of US tactical nuclear weapons deployed in Belgium, Italy, Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands is unknown, but the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation research group estimates that there are around 500 warheads deployed in those countries.