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6 Oct, 2022 13:10

Polish president sets out nuclear ambition

The prospect of Warsaw joining Washington’s “nuclear sharing” program remains “open,” President Andrzej Duda said
Polish president sets out nuclear ambition

Warsaw has had discussions with Washington about US nuclear weapons being based on Polish territory amid what it sees as a growing threat from Russia, President Andrzej Duda said.

“The problem, first of all, is that we don’t possess nuclear weapons,” Duda said in an interview with Gazeta Polska on Wednesday. “There’s no indication that in the near future we as Poland would have it at our disposal,” he added.

The solution could be Warsaw’s participation in Washington’s “nuclear sharing” program, the president suggested.

“We have spoken to the American leaders about whether the US is considering such a possibility. The issue remains open,” he said.

However, a US official said the White House was “not aware of this issue being raised,” according to The Guardian.

Currently, US nuclear weapons are deployed in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey as part of the nuclear sharing program. The five NATO members only host the nukes, which remain in the ownership of Washington.

Duda was also asked about the alleged nuclear threat from Russia.

“If [the Russians] start a nuclear war, there will be no future for them. Even if they survive, they will be cursed all over the world. They realize that it will be crossing the line, beyond which there is nothing left,” the president said.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow was ready to “use all means” to defend itself if its territorial integrity was under threat. However, Putin’s words were interpreted by some in the West as a “veiled threat” to use atomic weapons in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

On Wednesday, Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, pointed out that Moscow and Washington were obliged to prevent the world from “sliding into a catastrophe” involving nuclear weapons. He said that Russia’s stance that a nuclear conflict can’t be unleashed and can’t be won remained unchanged.

Other high-ranking officials in Moscow have also insisted that the country wasn’t threatening anybody with nukes and pointed to Russia’s military doctrine, which states that nuclear weapons may only be used if such arms or other weapons of mass destruction are being used against the state, or it is faced with an existential threat from conventional arms.