14:12 GMT15 June 2021
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    America’s NATO partners, Germany and France, are against the proposed placement of US nuclear missiles in Europe, German media reported on Friday.

    Washington pitched the idea during a NATO defense ministers’ meeting in February, Der Spiegel newsmagazine said.

    Washington is mulling the possible deployment of its nuclear-tipped ICBMs in Europe in response to Russia’s alleged violation of the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty – something America’s European allies do not think ever happened.

    The US accuses Russia of testing the R-500 cruise missile, with an estimated range of 500 kilometers, and the RS-26 ballistic missile.

    However, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence agency, currently does "not see any substantial change to the danger" posed by Russia.

    President Putin's statements over Russia's intention to acquire 40 intercontinental missiles were described by BND deputy head Guido Müller, in a secret meeting with select lawmakers, as little more than a "propaganda show," the German magazine noted.

    According to Müller, Russia’s refurbishment plans are well known, but analysts at the BND believe the chances of success are not high: from a technical standpoint, the modernization of the 40 nuclear warheads in such a short period of time is hardly possible, the BND vice-president added.

    Berlin is concerned that Europe could once again become the setting of a new East-West confrontation with Germany as the most likely battleground.

    The US’ plans, however, appear designed with an eye toward avoiding an open disagreement. That is why Washington only intends to send a few companies to the border nations.

    The larger part of the brigade will be initially stationed in Grafenwöhr, in the German region of Upper Palatinate. The same is apparently true of the heavy weaponry. The Bundeswehr, Germany's armed forces, estimates that it will include approximately 100 battle tanks.

    US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is expected to discuss the details with German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen during his visit on Monday, Der Spiegel wrote.


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    NATO, proposed deployment, nuclear missiles, German Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Ursula von der Leyen, Ashton Carter, Guido Müller, Europe
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