Project on European Nuclear Non-Proliferation - PENN

Press Release
28 April 1998


Non-Aligned Movement Demands an End to NATO Nuclear Sharing


At the meeting of the member states of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in Geneva the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) today officially demanded an end to NATO nuclear sharing arrangements. A working paper, representing the position of more than 110 states, demands that

"the Nuclear-weapon States parties to the NPT . . . refrain
from, among themselves, with non-nuclear weapons states,
and with States not party to the Treaty, nuclear sharing for
military purposes under any kind of security arrangements."

NATO is the only alliance which operates nuclear sharing arrangements. Under these arrangements, 150-200 US nuclear weapons are deployed in the six European states: Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, and Turkey. As part of these arrangements, these non-nuclear weapon states are involved in nuclear training and consultations in peace time and could use nuclear weapons in wartime. As the representative of Turkey said "Turkey ... apart from the nuclear umbrella of the NATO alliance, does not possess nuclear weapons."

NATO countries have always maintained that NATO nuclear sharing is legal under the NPT because it does not involve the actual transfer of nuclear weapons unless a decision was made to go to war. NATO argues that the NPT would no longer be "controlling" in these circumstances. But the NAM working paper states that the NPT has the aim of "preventing under any circumstances further poliferation of nuclear weapons". (Emphasis added)

A number of individual countries also raised NATO nuclear arrangements. The representative of Ukraine stated its concern that the expansion of NATO would also extend nuclear sharing. Ukraine welcomed NATO’s declaration that there would be no "deployment of nuclear tactical weapons on the territories of the expanded Alliance new members." However they added that there is an "urgent necessity" to adopt a "mandatory document on this issue."

For more information, please contact Daniel Plesch of the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) in Washington on +1-202-785-1266. Messages can be left for Oliver Meier of the Berlin Information-center for Transatlanticatic Security (BITS) on +41 22 731-0812, or Stephen Young of BASIC on +41-22-732-4423, Room 26.

PENN is a international network of non-governmental organizations concerned with nuclear weapons issues.