France is not ready to reduce its nuclear arsenal in a unilateral manner without guarantees from other states, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday during a speech at the Ecole Militaire in Paris.
“Unilateral disarmament of a nuclear power like us will leave us and our partners vulnerable in the face of coercive pressure and extortion. I reject this prospect,” Macron said.
He added that France’s nuclear arsenal is incomparable with the arsenals of the US and Russia.
“In its pursuit of peace, France follows the logic of disarmament in the name of global security and stability. It shows unique results, having dismantled all ground-to-ground nuclear components, testing centers, enterprises producing fissile materials for weapons, and also having reduced its arsenal, which now includes less than 300 warheads,” Macron stated.
Earlier, Macron stressed the need for European states to come up with an international agenda in the sphere of arms control. He noted that he expects to have an expanded international discussion on the new Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which would include other states apart from the US and Russia. The French president stressed the importance of prolonging the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) after 2021, also noting that the existing Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons “is the only means of preventing a nuclear war.”.