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22 Apr, 2024 08:30

Neighbor of Russia ready to host US nuclear weapons – president

Andrzej Duda has admitted he discussed the issue with Washington
Neighbor of Russia ready to host US nuclear weapons – president

Poland is open to hosting US nuclear weapons amid the stand-off with Russia over Ukraine, President Andrzej Duda has said.

In an interview with the Polish daily Fakt on Monday, the leader acknowledged that the issue of bringing US nukes to his country, much closer to Russian territory, “has been a topic of Polish-American talks for some time.” The US currently has nuclear weapons stationed in five fellow NATO members: Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Türkiye.

“I have already talked about this several times,” Duda continued. “I must admit that when asked about it, I declared our readiness.”

He argued that the reason for such a stance is that “Russia is increasingly militarizing” its exclave of Kaliningrad bordering Poland and Lithuania, adding that Moscow has also deployed its nuclear weapons in Belarus.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the decision to place tactical nuclear weapons in the neighboring state, which is also Moscow’s key ally, last year. At the time, he argued that the move had been triggered by Britain’s decision to supply Ukraine with depleted uranium ammunition. The president also pointed out that the US has kept nukes in Europe for decades.

Duda further explained that “if our allies decide to deploy nuclear weapons as part of nuclear sharing also on our territory to strengthen the security of NATO’s eastern flank, we are ready for it.”

He recalled that as a NATO member, Poland has certain obligations, and “in this respect, we simply implement a common policy.”

In response to Duda’s statement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that if the US does indeed place its nuclear weapons in Poland, the Russian military would “take all necessary countermeasures to ensure our security.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in January that Moscow views the nuclear assets of the US, UK and France as a “single nuclear arsenal aimed at the Russian Federation,” since NATO had declared it the “main threat.” He added that Russia takes this reality into account in its nuclear policy.

Moscow has repeatedly said that a nuclear war must never be fought, and that it has never threatened to use its atomic arsenal.

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