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7 Apr, 2022 06:44

Russia responds to Poland’s nuclear proposal

Moscow strongly urged against the deployment of American atomic weapons in Eastern Europe
Russia responds to Poland’s nuclear proposal

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has warned that Moscow would view the transfer of nuclear weapons to Poland as highly provocative, after a top official said Warsaw is willing to host foreign missiles as a deterrent.

Speaking with French broadcaster LCI, on Wednesday, Peskov said any such deployment would likely trigger a response in kind from Russia, suggesting it would alter its own nuclear posture. 

“For us, this would be a big threat,” he said, adding “In this case, the deployment of Russian nuclear missiles on the western border would be inevitable,” also stressing that Moscow is “a responsible nuclear power.”

Peskov’s comments come after Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski told a German newspaper last weekend that his country “would be open” to hosting US nuclear weapons, arguing that a missile deployment on NATO’s eastern flank “makes sense” and would “significantly increase deterrence towards Moscow.”

During a Monday press briefing, Peskov also stated the move would only heighten tensions amid ongoing hostilities in Ukraine, calling it a cause for “deep concern.”

Kaczynski was not the first to raise the idea, with Washington’s envoy to Poland making the same suggestion back in 2020, in that case calling for a repositioning of American nukes currently in Germany. US leaders have so far declined to act on the proposals.

The stationing of bombs in Poland would run counter to a 1996 pledge by the NATO military bloc that it has “no intention, no plan and no reason to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of new members.” Warsaw only joined the alliance in 1999, though other member states which entered NATO earlier continue to host American missiles under nuclear sharing agreements, including Turkey, Italy, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands.

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