Duda poland
© EPA-EFE/Pawel Supernak POLAND OUT"If there is a decision by our (NATO) allies to deploy nuclear weapons in Poland as part of Nuclear Sharing in order to reinforce the security of NATO eastern flank, we are ready for that," Duda said on Monday (22 April).
Poland is ready to host nuclear weapons on its territory, President Andrzej Duda announced on Monday (22 April), confirming he had been in talks on the matter with the US administration during a recent visit.

​​In an interview with the Polish daily Fakt, Duda admitted that he is discussing the possibility of deploying nuclear weapons in Poland as part of NATO's Nuclear Sharing Programme.

US nuclear-sharing arrangements foresee the deployment and storage of a nuclear arsenal in Europe, allowing non-nuclear-weapon states to place nuclear weapons on their territory and participate in planning and exercises.

Though no official confirmation exists, it is widely known that US nuclear weapons are currently stationed on American and European bases across Europe: Kleine Brogel in Belgium, Büchel in Germany, Aviano and Ghedi-Torre in Italy, Volkel in the Netherlands, and Inçirlik in Turkey.

"If there is a decision by our [NATO] allies to deploy nuclear weapons in Poland as part of Nuclear Sharing to reinforce the security of NATO Eastern Flank, we are ready for that," Duda told the Polish media.

The Polish president confirmed the potential deployment of nuclear weapons in Poland was a topic of his talks with the US administration during last week's visit when he met with White House officials as well as with US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Russia continues to militarise the neighbouring Kaliningrad Oblast and is moving its nuclear weapons to Belarus, which also shares the border with Poland, Duda said he had told American counterparts.

He reiterated Warsaw's commitment to increasing its defence spending to 4% of GDP, a much higher target than most other NATO members.

Duda stressed US support for Poland would not be charity: "The Americans have their interests in Poland, and I want them to feel (...) that it is also in their interest to keep us safe".

Polish parties divided

The previous conservative, nationalist Law and Justice (PiS, ECR) government, in power until last December, had favoured Poland participating in the nuclear sharing programme, as did the far-right opposition Confederation party.

"Stationing nuclear weapons on Polish territory would be a much more serious security guarantee than any other forms of cooperation with allies," the Confederation spokesman Michał Wawer said last year.

On the other hand, the Civic Coalition (KO, EPP), which replaced PiS in power, leading a bloc of pro-EU centrist and leftist parties under Prime Minister Donald Tusk, was sceptical about stationing nuclear weapons in Poland.

Former Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak warned last year that the speculations on such a solution "do not serve Poland's security".

Comment: A rare voice of reason.

Meanwhile, in Russia

Duda's comments about nuclear sharing came on the same day as Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared that the threat of nuclear war is increasing, Reuters reported.

"Westerners are dangerously teetering on the brink of direct military confrontation between nuclear powers," Lavrov was quoted as saying.

According to him, the US and nuclear powers in Europe are taking "provocative steps" in supporting Ukraine in its war against Russia.

Earlier, Russia's President Vladimir Putin warned that if the United States conducts nuclear tests, Moscow would do the same.

Russian media, including the TASS state press agency, reported on Duda's statement about nuclear weapons in Poland but no official reaction came from the Kremlin before the publication of this article.