Speculations regarding the nuclear arsenal in Incirlik
Romania has dismissed the information according to which our country is to host nuclear weapons transferred by the United States from Turkey.
Articol de Radio România Internaţional, 19 August 2016, 20:37
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Bucharest authorities have officially denied speculations according to which the United States has started transferring its nuclear arsenal from Turkey. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also dismissed this information. In turn, Defence Minister Mihnea Motoc said the following:
“There has been no such discussion in this respect, neither at political level nor at ministry level. There are no plans in this direction. So we are categorically dismissing this information as pure speculation”.
A former Defence Minister at the time Romania was granted NATO accession in 2004, Ioan-Mircea Pascu, currently an MEP, says the US moving its nuclear arsenal from Turkey to Romania is impossible both politically and technically:
“When Romania and the other member states joined NATO there was a clear commitment not to host nuclear arsenals and permanent military bases on their territories. This commitment is today being observed, as all Allied forces deployed to Romania to consolidate NATO’s eastern flank after the events in Crimea are here on rotation basis. Secondly, the entire nuclear arsenal in Turkey consists in air-deployed bombs, transportable only by plane. Romania presently doesn’t have the infrastructure to host nuclear weapons”.
The reactions come in response to an article carried by the Euractiv online news agency, according to which, due to the deterioration of relations between Washington and Ankara, 20 nuclear warheads are to be transported from the NATO military base in Incirlik, Turkey, to the base in Deveselu, southern Romania, which has only recently been rendered operational. NATO allies, including Turkey, agreed to host US nuclear weapons under a treaty signed in 1960, aimed at deterring the aggression of the former USSR. In a report made public two years ago, NATO said its nuclear weapons are stored safely, without mentioning where.
The current geopolitical context has promoted Romanian and foreign analysts to speculate that the current Turkish president, Recep Tayip Erdogan, has grown into an unstable and difficult partner for the United States, also in the wake of the wave of repressions that followed the attempted coup of July in Turkey. Many voices see the Americans’ fears regarding the safety of their nuclear weapons in Turkey as grounded, considering the country has become increasingly unstable.