NATO’s North Atlantic Council visits France’s Ile Longue nuclear base

  • 06 Apr. 2023 -
  • |
  • Last updated: 20 Apr. 2023 13:29

The ambassadors of the North Atlantic Council visited the French nuclear base of Ile Longue on Thursday (6 April 2023) to emphasise the importance of nuclear deterrence at a time of unprecedented security challenges to the Alliance.

“I welcome France’s important contribution to NATO”, said Angus Lapsley, Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning. “This visit stresses the essential contribution that France’s conventional and nuclear forces bring to the security and defence of the Alliance’s territory and population”. In Ile Longue, the ambassadors exchanged views on the current security environment with senior French officials, both from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence as well as with the three commanders of France’s nuclear forces.

The ambassadors toured a French nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine and were briefed by the crew implementing the sea-based leg of France’s nuclear deterrence. They also thanked the crews for their service, dedication and professionalism. 

NATO’s new Strategic Concept states that the fundamental purpose of NATO’s nuclear capability is to preserve peace, prevent coercion and deter aggression. Allies agree that as long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance. This document also makes clear that the independent strategic nuclear forces of France contribute significantly to the security of the Alliance.