U.S. says it will deploy more long-range missiles in Germany

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London — The U.S. and Germany have announced together that the U.S. military will deploy more — and more advanced — long-range missiles in Germany in 2026, plans the countries say demonstrate the American "commitment to NATO and its contribution" to European defense. Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov vowed that his country would respond, calling the planned deployment "damaging" to Russia's security.

The new capabilities in Germany will include SM-6 missiles, Tomahawk cruise missiles and unspecified "developmental hypersonic weapons," the U.S. and German governments said in their joint statement. They said the deployment in 2026 would be "episodic" but part of planning for "enduring stationing" in the future.

"Without nerves, without emotions, we will develop first of all, a military response to the new threat," Russia's Ryabkov told journalists, according to Russia's state-run TASS news agency. 

World Leaders Attend NATO Summit In Washington, D.C. President Biden and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg greet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on stage before a group photo during the 2024 NATO summit on July 10, 2024, in Washington, D.C. Andrew Harnik / Getty Images

While he did not specify what that military response would be, in comments to Russian television, Ryabkov said the joint American and German measures would not force Russia to "disarm" or trigger an "expensive arms race". 

The U.S.-German announcement came on the second day of NATO's 75th-anniversary summit in Washington, where 32 members of the alliance formally declared Ukraine – still trying to fend off the full-scale invasion launched by Russia in 2022 — on an "irreversible path" to membership in the alliance.

Outgoing NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that Ukraine would only join "when allies agree and conditions are met," alluding to systemic reforms that member states expect Ukraine to implement. 

US Air Base Spangdahlem A U.S. Air Force soldier comes out of the headquarters of the 52d Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany on May 23, 2024. Harald Tittel/dpa via Getty Images

Russia vehemently opposes the eastward expansion of NATO and has alluded to Ukraine's aspirations of joining the alliance as the reason for its ongoing assault on the country. 

The NATO statement said the alliance "does not seek confrontation, and poses no threat to Russia. We remain willing to maintain channels of communication with Moscow to mitigate risk and prevent escalation."

But declaring Ukraine's future as a NATO member "irreversible" on Wednesday was enough to prompt a warning from Deputy Chairman of Russia's Security Council and former President Dmitry Medvedev, who posted on social media that his country "must do everything to ensure that Ukraine's 'irreversible path' to NATO ends either with Ukraine's disappearance or with NATO's disappearance. Or better yet, both." 

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