For the first time, a majority of Germans (52%) support the continued stationing of U.S. nuclear weapons in the country, according to a survey for the public television channel ARD.
According to the ARD, this change in public opinion is related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24.
At the moment, 40% of Germans are in favor of maintaining the US nuclear bombs deployed in the south of the country as part of NATO defense strategies, while 12% support modernizing or reinforcing the arsenal.
Thirty-nine percent, however, call for their withdrawal, according to the survey conducted by the Infratest Dimap polling institute.
A year ago, in mid-2021, 57% wanted the withdrawal and only 14% favored the permanence of nuclear weapons, according to a survey carried out by the Munich Security Conference, which reflected the dominant trend of recent times.
According to the poll released today, support for the stationing of nuclear warheads is particularly strong among Green Party supporters, with 64% of those surveyed taking this position.
They are followed by the voters of the conservative Christian Democrats and the Liberals (in both cases 61% support the deployment), while the supporters of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) are the only ones who favor the withdrawal by a majority of 54 %.
According to German media estimates, there are currently some 20 U.S. nuclear warheads stationed at the Büchel military base in central Germany, which would be transported by German fighter planes in the event of war.