Poland are thinking of asking NATO to allow it to obtain nuclear weapons so that it can protect itself against alleged Russian “threats”.
The Defense Minister, Tomasz Szatkowski, has said that Poland will ask NATO to borrow nuclear missiles from the U.S. so that the country can boost its defenses.
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This is the first time that a Polish official has made a statement of intent about wanting to host nuclear weapons on its soil.
However, the Polish Defense Ministry has issued a statement that Warsaw has not asked and is not looking to house NATO nuclear weapons on its territory, according to RIA.
However, if the plan does go ahead, it is likely to produce a fierce rebuke from Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in June that if NATO threatens Russia, Moscow will respond to the threat accordingly.
“If someone threatens our territories, it means that we will have to aim our armed forces accordingly at the territories from where the threat is coming. How else could it be? It is NATO that approaching our borders, it’s not like we are moving anywhere,” he said.
Poland has been one of NATO’s staunchest allies, since joining the alliance in 1999. It has also been keen to establish further links and in September Poland’s parliament gave the green light to President Andrzej Duda to ratify a technical agreement on establishing a US anti-missile base in Redzikowo. Under the NATO-backed plan, the facility should be operational by 2018.
The agreement in question is a part of a much-debated NATO-backed plan that was first agreed on by the US and Poland in 2008. At that time, it was claimed that the base was necessary to counter the risk of a possible missile attack from Iran or North Korea. However, an agreement has been reached with Tehran about a peaceful end to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
“We all probably remember that in April 2009 in Prague [US] President [Barack] Obama said that if the Iran nuclear program issue is sorted out, then the task of creating the European segment of the missile defense system would disappear,” Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said adding that Washington’s missile defense plans had no justification anymore.
After winning the Polish presidential election in May, one of Duda’s first moves was to call for more NATO troops to be stationed in the country.
“We do not want to be the buffer zone. We want to be the real eastern flank of the alliance … Today, when we look at the dispersion of bases … then the borderline is Germany,” the conservative Polish President told The Financial Times in August.
“NATO has not yet taken note of the shift of Poland from the east to the west. NATO is supposed to be here to protect the alliance … If Poland and other central European countries constitute the real flank of NATO, then it seems natural to me, a logical conclusion, that bases should be placed in those countries,” he added.