Germany has agreed to NATO's plans to keep U.S. nuclear warheads in the country, military sources said.
The sources told the German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau that in addition to putting off plans to have the atomic weapons removed, the Berlin government has agreed to let the United States modernize them, The Local.de reported Wednesday.
Officially there are between 10 and 20 nuclear bombs at the Buchel Air Base in Rhineland Palatinate.
Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle had put the removal of the warheads at the heart of his foreign policy aims.
Military experts said the government gave up that position at the NATO summit in Chicago at the end of May.
Research director Karl-Heinz of the NATO Defense College in Rome said there were several reasons why Germany backed down.
"Generally the euphoria about nuclear disarmament has dissipated and the relationship between Russia and the USA has cooled again," he said.