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Poland ‘ready’ to welcome NATO nuclear weapons, says President Andrzej Duda

Poland is ready to host nuclear weapons if NATO decides to deploy them while Russia strengthens its armaments in Belarus and Kaliningrad, President Andrzej Duda said in an interview published Monday.

Poland, a NATO member and staunch supporter of Ukraine, shares a border with both the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad and Moscow’s ally Belarus.

“If our allies decide to deploy nuclear weapons on our territory within the framework of nuclear sharing, to strengthen the eastern flank of NATO, we are ready to do so,” Duda said in an interview published by the daily Fact.

Polish President Andrzej Duda speaks during a news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 14, 2024.

Yves Herman / REUTERS

In response, Moscow warned it would take steps to “ensure its security” if Warsaw obtained the weapons.

Duda spoke to Polish media after a visit to New Yorkwhere he held meetings at the UN and discussed the war in Ukraine with former US President Donald Trump.

In March, he traveled to Washington, where he met with President Biden.

Discussions on nuclear cooperation between Poland and the United States have been ongoing “for some time,” he said.

“I have already spoken about it several times. I must admit that, when asked about it, I stated that we are ready,” Duda said.

“Russia is increasingly militarizing Kaliningrad. Recently, it transferred its nuclear weapons to Belarus,” he added.

The Kremlin said it would respond if Poland harbored nuclear weapons.

“The military will, of course, analyze the situation and in any case take all necessary measures to ensure our security,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

In June 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed that Russia sent tactical nuclear weapons to Belaruswhich borders Ukraine and Poland.

At the last NATO summit in Vilnius, the allies committed to “taking all necessary measures to ensure the credibility, effectiveness, safety and security of the nuclear deterrent mission.”

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