NATO has no intention of deploying nuclear weapons in Poland
US submarine test-fired Trident II D5 missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads in 2018. Photo: US Navy

Secretary General Stoltenberg said NATO will not expand the number of NATO members deploying nuclear weapons after Poland expressed its readiness to receive it.

“We have no plans to expand the nuclear sharing program or deploy additional nuclear weapons to any other NATO country,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a joint press conference with the British Prime Minister. Rishi Sunak in Poland on April 23.

Nuclear sharing is part of NATO’s deterrence policy, allowing the placement of nuclear weapons in member countries that do not possess this capability. Additionally, the program could include providing escort or reconnaissance aircraft to carry out nuclear missions.

Within the framework of the program, NATO has deployed US nuclear weapons to Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Türkiye since December 2009. Washington has full control and operation of nuclear weapons that this country deploys abroad.

Mr. Stoltenberg made the statement after Polish President Andrzej Duda said Warsaw is ready for NATO to deploy nuclear weapons in this country.

“If our allies decide to deploy nuclear weapons on Polish territory as part of a nuclear sharing plan to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank, we are ready to let them carry out that decision,” Mr. Duda said in an interview published on April 22, adding that this will be a step forward in strengthening deterrence capacity with Russia.

This is not the first time Poland has proposed this idea. In June 2023, Mateusz Morawiecki, then Prime Minister of Poland, said the country was ready to join NATO’s nuclear sharing program, in response to Russia’s announcement of deploying tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus. .

President Duda also said in 2022 that he was negotiating with the US about letting NATO deploy nuclear weapons in Poland to counter the threat from Russia.

However, Mr. Duda’s latest statement was met with a reaction from current Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Mr. Tusk said it was necessary to discuss the above proposal with Mr. Duda immediately.

“This is a very big idea, and I really want to know what reasons prompted the President to make such a statement,” the Polish Prime Minister said. “Any potential initiative must be carefully prepared by the people responsible. Everyone must be in complete agreement that they want it.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on April 23 warned that Russia would take necessary steps to ensure security if NATO deployed nuclear weapons in Poland.

“The Russian army will analyze the situation in case that plan is carried out and will take all necessary response measures to ensure the country’s safety,” Mr. Peskov affirmed.