“There is no decision-making underway in Washington to redeploy nuclear weapons that were once deployed, sort of 30 years ago, back in Europe 30 years ago,” Lute told journalists.
NATO’s 2014 Wales Summit Declaration outlines "deterrence, based on an appropriate mix of nuclear, conventional, and missile defense capabilities."
Recent media reports cited US officials as saying the deployment of “counterforce” missiles in Europe as an option in light of increasing tensions with Russia.
Lute also pledged over 1,000 pieces of US military equipment, including hundreds of armored combat vehicles, to be deployed in Europe by the end of 2015. He said the deployment will not violate the NATO-Russia cooperation act.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, in turn, pledged 250 US tanks in seven Eastern European and Baltic nations, including Germany.
Carter’s and Lute’s comments follow NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s plan voiced in January to boost the alliance’s military presence in Eastern Europe.
Russia interprets the buildup of NATO forces in Eastern Europe as a threat to national security, arguing that it is an aggressive step that could increase tensions and destabilize the region.