The appeal comes as leaders from the SPD, Germany’s second-largest party and member of Chancellor Merkel’s governing coalition, demand the withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from the country’s airbases.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has thrown his hat into the debate surrounding the storage of about 20 US B61 nuclear bombs at the Buchel Airbase in western Germany, penning an op-ed in German media in which he suggests Russia and other actors are to blame for the need to keep the bombs where they are.

“Around the world, terrorism continues, authoritarian regimes challenge liberal democracies, and we see the proliferation of nuclear weapons to countries like North Korea, as well as the continuing aggressive actions by Russia,” Stoltenberg wrote in an a piece published by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

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