German parties, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Christian Social Union (CSU) and Social Democratic Party (SPD), will put the United States’ envisaged withdrawal from the INF treaty with Russia high on the agenda at a Tuesday meeting of the coalition committee.
In an interview with the German-language daily newspaper Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung, Rolf Mützenich, a member of the SPD, warned that Washington’s unilateral decision may lead to the deployment of US intermediate-range missiles on German soil.
Even if the treaty falls apart, “Germany must not become the venue of nuclear war games. We will not agree to the deployment of new US medium-range missiles,” Mützenich stressed.
“There is no military gap between the US and Russia, as some claim again and again,” he said.
Speaking at a conference in Germany last week, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the bloc had no plans to deploy new missiles in Europe:
“NATO has no intention to deploy new nuclear missiles in Europe. But as an Alliance, we are committed to the safety and the security of all Allies. We must not allow arms control treaties to be violated with impunity. Because that undermines the trust in arms control in general. So we call on Russia to ensure compliance, and to return to constructive dialogue with the United States.”
Stoltenberg’s comments came shortly after US National Security Adviser John Bolton told reporters that Washington had no intention to deploy “INF non-compliant missiles in Europe in the foreseeable future.”
The INF Treaty, inked in 1987 by the United States and the Soviet Union, banned both countries from possessing, producing or flight-testing ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 km and their launchers.