Russia’s nuclear weapons tests were linked to a radioactive explosion. Trump’s friendliness with Putin makes it hard for NATO to do anything about it.
(Source Business Insider)
Since a radioactive explosion in Nyonoksa, Russia, this month, NATO has been watching closely, and, according to sources in the alliance, quickly concluded it was part of a reckless test to develop an experimental new nuclear-powered cruise missile. However, NATO has felt incapable of taking a hard line with President Vladimir Putin over his weapons program in part because of US President Donald Trump’s troublingly friendly approach to Russia, three NATO officials told Insider.
According to the officials — who spoke anonymously because they are not authorized to discuss the issue on the record — the agency agrees with widespread assessments that the explosion at a military facility near Nyonoksa on August 8 was part of a nuclear weapons program. The blast killed five scientists and threw radioactive fallout into the air that could be detected in Western Europe. But it has not prompted a strong international response.
The officials each said that NATO was unlikely to directly confront Russia because the incident occurred at a time when multiple strategic issues from Syria to Ukraine to election interference already vex relations. “Developing a nuclear-powered cruise missile to carry and deliver nuclear warheads is obviously something that concerns NATO,” said one military intelligence official based at NATO headquarters in Brussels. However, the official said that Trump’s recent suggestion to reinstate Russia to the G7 group of developed economies has hobbled NATO’s ability to respond robustly.