Poland asks the U.S to deploy nuclear weapons on its territory
Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said last week that non-nuclear countermeasures would be devastating.
Former CIA director David Petraeus said a possible response scenario would be for NATO to carry out conventional attacks on Russian forces in Ukraine and even sink the Black Sea Fleet.
Still, a real NATO attack on Russian military targets in Ukraine would be a major shift, turning the current conflict into a war between Russia and NATO, something policymakers have been trying to prevent for nearly 80 years.
Poland says it has asked the U.S. to send nuclear weapons to its territory amid growing Western concerns about Russia’s possible use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
Polish President Andrzej Duda said there was “a potential opportunity” for Poland to participate in a “nuclear sharing program” under which pilots in the nuclear installation country are trained to carry out U.S. nuclear bomb missions.
“We have spoken to U.S. leaders about whether Washington will consider this possibility. This is an open issue,” Duda said.
However, the White House said it had not received such a request.
“We have not been informed about this matter and will talk to the Polish government,” a U.S. official said.
Moving U.S. nuclear weapons to Poland would likely violate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the 1997 Russia-NATO Relations Establishment Act.
After the end of the Cold War, NATO announced that the alliance had no plans to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of the new member states.
The American Association of American Scientists (FAS) estimates that the U.S. has about 100 nuclear weapons remaining in Europe after the Cold War, deployed in the
Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Turkey. These are all B61 bombs, which are considered obsolete weapons and will not be used in the event of war with Russia. Arms control experts have long called for their removal from Europe.
However, they have been modernized into B61-12 guided nuclear bombs. These bombs were also designed so that the F-35A Lightning II stealth fighters could carry them.
Hans Kristensen, fas nuclear information project manager, said B61-12 guided bomb depots in Europe were being upgraded and enhanced.
“The reason they are doing this is to protect their forces against the growing threat of Conventional Russian missiles,” Kristensen said.
Russia, Ukraine vying for control of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
President Putin warned that he would use all available means to defend Russian territory, and announced the annexation of 4 territories in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the White House warned of “catastrophic consequences” if Putin decides to use nuclear weapons, but not if specific measures are taken.