Belgian Coalition Against Nuclear Weapons calls for cancellation of NATO nuclear exercise

The Belgian Coalition Against Nuclear Weapons is asking Belgium to cancel "Steadfast Noon", the NATO nuclear exercise scheduled to take place in Belgian airspace over the next two weeks. "It is irresponsible to carry out such an exercise in times of high nuclear tensions with Russia," some 50 civil society organisations argue in a press release on Thursday.

"Steadfast Noon" is an annual exercise involving aircraft from five NATO countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the United States) capable of carrying out nuclear missions using US nuclear bombs.

"By allowing the annual exercise to go ahead this year, NATO is sending a dangerous message. Following the nuclear threats from Russia, this exercise risks further escalation. Moreover, it normalises the use and deployment of nuclear weapons as a means to wage and win war. This should by no means happen," the coalition's statement reads.

The coalition, which is a member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), points out that the nuclear bombs stationed in Belgium that are the subject of the exercise are tactical nuclear bombs. 

"Participating in this exercise means Belgium is in breach of its own international obligations. Under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the nuclear-weapon states agreed that they would not 'transfer' or 'put nuclear weapons under the control of non-nuclear-weapon states'," the statement continues.

"The fact that Belgian, German, Italian and Dutch fighter jets are practising to deploy nuclear bombs - after being activated by the US in wartime - themselves is clearly a violation of the NPT", the antinuclear coalition concludes.



 Two Belgian F-16 aircraft © BELGA PHOTO BRUNO FAHY

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels