May 24, 2024
‘We are declaring our readiness’: No decision made yet as Poland declares it’s ready to host nuclear weapons

‘We are declaring our readiness’: No decision made yet as Poland declares it’s ready to host nuclear weapons


Polish President Andrzej Duda says while no decision has been made around whether Poland will host nuclear weapons as part of an expansion of the NATO alliance’s nuclear sharing program, his country is willing and prepared to do so.


“I don’t know anything about such decisions, so responsibly speaking I am saying there are no such decisions in place, but we are declaring our readiness,” Duda told CTV’s Question Period host Vassy Kapelos in an exclusive interview airing Sunday.


Duda spoke in Polish, through a translator.


According to NATO, the alliance’s nuclear sharing arrangements ensure all member states both share in the risk, but also benefit from “collective defence,” by strategically hosting nuclear weapons in certain countries. The United States, the United Kingdom, and France are all nuclear weapons states in their right, while Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkiye, and Italy all host nuclear weapons provided by the U.S.


All NATO also share the responsibility of decision making when it comes to nuclear missions and deterrence.


With Russia’s war on Ukraine past the two-year mark, Duda said if NATO collectively decides to bolster defences on its eastern flank by having Poland host nuclear weapons, his country is prepared.


“It is not any kind of new information,” Duda said. “For many years in fact, we have repeated that if NATO allies make such a decision to deploy within NATO or to broaden the program of nuclear sharing to include Poland, then we are ready, because we understand that this is about strengthening the security of Europe.”


When asked whether that is any closer to happening, Duda said alliance members haven’t reached a verdict.


“We raised this topic in conversations with allies,” he said. “There are no decisions in this regard … I want to deny all the claims that some decisions have been made on this one, I have not participated in making any decisions.”


Duda said there is no doubt that if Russian President Vladimir Putin is successful in conquering Ukraine, he will continue his offensive and invade other countries.


He repeated that Poland is “ready” to host nuclear weapons, “because we can see that Russia is dangerous again, that Russia is deploying its nuclear weapons.”


Putin warned last month that Russia is prepared to deploy its nuclear arsenal.


“And it’s not the West which is provoking Russia, it’s not NATO which is provoking Russia, on the contrary,” he added. “It is Russia which is provoking the West.”


Duda said NATO members are “exclusively” responding to Russia’s aggression.


In his interview, Duda also discussed Russia’s war on Ukraine and the risk of “insatiable” Russian imperialism, his relationship with former U.S. president Donald Trump, the NATO defence spending target, and his openness to purchasing Canadian liquefied natural gas, were it on the market.


You can watch Duda’s full interview on CTV’s Question Period, Sunday at 11 a.m. ET, and in the video player at the top of this article.


With files from CTV’s Question Period Senior Producer Stephanie Ha

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