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    An undated file picture shows a B-2 Spirit Bomber droping a B61-11 bomb casing from an undisclosed location

    NATO to Remain Nuclear Alliance as Long as Atomic Weapons Exist

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    NATO will remain a nuclear alliance as long as nuclear weapons exist, US Defense Department spokesperson Joe Sowers told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Monday that the B61-12 nuclear bomb test in Nevada on July 1, 2015 was openly provocative and contrary to Washington's stated desire for complete nuclear disarmament.

    "The United States is taking prudent measures to sustain its nuclear forces to ensure they remain safe, secure, and effective even as we seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons," Joe Sowers said.

    Sowers claimed that the US had not undermined the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) by recently conducting a nuclear bomb test in Nevada.

    "We are in full compliance with our NPT obligations. Our contributions to NATO's nuclear deterrence posture and capabilities do not conflict with our NPT obligations," Sowers said.

    Sowers explained that when the NPT had been signed in 1968, Washington informed the then Soviet Union as well as the US Senate of its interpretation how the NPT applies to its NATO commitments.

    "The Treaty was ratified based on an understanding of that interpretation," he said.

    The NPT aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weaponry and entered into force in 1970. The Treaty established a system of safeguards that falls under the responsibility of the International Atomic Energy Agency. As many as 191 states have ratified the NPT.

    Sowers also noted that in the next decade, the United States plans to replace its aging delivery platforms, "just as the Russian Federation is doing currently."

    On Sunday, the head of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation David Krieger told Sputnik that the very fact that the United States conducted a nuclear bomb test signifies the country has disregarded the NPT.

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    Tags:
    NATO, nuclear weapons, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Pentagon, Russia, United States
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