Генерального секретаря НАТО Єнса Столтенберга на симпозіумі з ядерної політики

  • 02 Nov. 2021 -
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  • Last updated 08-Nov-2021 10:29

Speech by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Nuclear Policy Symposium

Good afternoon,
and many thanks to Dr Balomenos and to Greece for hosting this year’s Nuclear Policy Symposium.
This is an important platform, bringing together a community of experts, to discuss nuclear deterrence issues. 
In these challenging times, such discussions are increasingly relevant for Alliance security.   

We face the most difficult security environment in a generation, including growing nuclear threats. 

Russia is using aggressive rhetoric and large-scale exercises, 
And modernising, diversifying and expanding its nuclear capabilities. 
It has deployed short and intermediate-range missile systems.  
Its hypersonic glide vehicle is now operational. 
It has tested new nuclear powered undersea torpedoes, and nuclear cruise missiles with potentially unlimited range. 
At the same time, Russia continues to increase the quality and quantity of its non-strategic nuclear weapons, and delivery systems.

China is also expanding its nuclear arsenal. 
At a rapid pace. 
It has more warheads. 
And more sophisticated delivery systems.  
Moreover, China is building a large number of missile silos, which can significantly increase its nuclear capability.
All of this is happening without any limitation or constraint. 
And with a complete lack of transparency.

Other players are fielding nuclear weapons too. 
For instance, North Korea continues its nuclear expansion.
And in Iran, the centrifuges are spinning at full speed.  

NATO is adapting to this more challenging security environment. 
And responding to growing nuclear threats. 

We do this, first and foremost, by keeping our nuclear deterrence strong. 
It has preserved peace in Europe for many decades.
And with it, we are safer and stronger as we tackle the challenges ahead.  

The strategic forces of the Alliance form the foundation of NATO’s nuclear deterrence.
Particularly those of the United States. 
They are the supreme guarantee of Allied security. 
The US nuclear weapons forward-deployed in Europe are the most tangible demonstration of this. 
The independent strategic nuclear forces of the UK and France have a deterrent role of their own, and contribute significantly to the overall security of the Alliance. 
Other Allies also provide important capabilities and infrastructure, like dual-capable aircraft, in support of NATO’s nuclear sharing arrangements. 

These are arrangements of unique importance  to our collective deterrence and defence, and are the foundation for security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.
They provide European Allies with an effective nuclear umbrella.
And a say which they would not otherwise have.  

NATO’s nuclear sharing arrangements send an important signal of Allied unity against any nuclear-armed adversary.  
They also ensure the benefits, responsibilities and risks of nuclear deterrence, and decision-making, are shared among Allies.
And they have helped prevent further nuclear proliferation in Europe. 
These arrangements have served us well for 60 years. 
And they are as relevant and important today as they have ever been.
So NATO’s nuclear deterrence is already strong. 
But we must continue to adapt. 
And enhance the credibility and effectiveness of our nuclear capabilities.

That is why we conduct exercises. 
We have just concluded Steadfast Noon – our annual deterrence exercise.
Dozens of aircraft from across the Alliance participated in this routine, defensive exercise. 
This is not directed against any country.
But exercises like this ensure that our nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective. 
We are also working to enhance the resilience, responsiveness, and effectiveness of our nuclear forces.
Two weeks ago, NATO defence ministers in the Nuclear Planning Group took important decisions. 
To address the challenges and opportunities posed by emerging and disruptive technologies for NATO’s nuclear deterrence.
And reduce nuclear risks. 

As we maintain and adapt our strong nuclear deterrence, we are also looking at reducing potential risks posed by nuclear weapons and their proliferation. 

We are determined to continue to play our part in support of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation efforts. 
They are key to preserve Euro-Atlantic security.
And help ensure strategic stability worldwide.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO Allies have reduced the number of nuclear warheads in Europe by 90 percent. 

Our aim is a world free of nuclear weapons.
But as long as they exist, NATO will remain a nuclear Alliance. 

In more unpredictable and challenging world, a strong nuclear deterrent is essential,
to preserve peace, prevent coercion, and deter aggression.

We are ready to take steps to create the conditions for further nuclear disarmament negotiations.
And we remain committed to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
But any meaningful disarmament must be balanced and verifiable.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons does not fill any of these requirements.
Simply giving up our deterrent without any guarantees that others will do the same is a dangerous option.
Because a world where Russia, China or countries like North Korea have nuclear weapons, 
but NATO has none, is simply not a safer world. 
Therefore, it is very important that we consult closely among Allies at NATO, and come to unified positions. 
And that we avoid any unilateral decisions or announcements. 

I look forward to hearing the outcome of your important discussions in the Nuclear Policy Symposium. 
And I count on you to pursue your work to help maintain a unified and credible nuclear Alliance.

Thank you very much,
And I wish you a good conference.