Polish leader ‘open’ to keeping US nukes there, wants more US soldiers
Poland’s most powerful politician has said he “could be open” to the installation of nuclear weapons by the United States in his country, a neighbor of Ukraine, prompting condemnation on Monday from the Kremlin, which has warned that this would only escalate tensions amid fears of an atomic war.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party, told the German weekly Welt am Sonntag that “in principle it makes sense to extend nuclear involvement to the eastern flank”.
“If the Americans asked us to store American nuclear weapons in Poland, we would be open to it,” he also said in an interview on Sunday. published on his party’s website.
“It would significantly strengthen deterrence against Moscow,” he said, while calling for a much stronger presence of American troops in Europe, especially on NATO’s eastern flank.
He said “Poland would welcome an increase in the US presence in Europe in the future from the current 100,000 troops to 150,000 troops due to Russia’s growing aggressiveness.”
“Of these, 75,000 troops should be stationed on the eastern flank; that is, on the border with Russia; 50,000 troops in the Baltic States and Poland,” he said in the interview.
The Kremlin condemned his comments on Monday, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov warning that such a move would only escalate tensions amid lingering fears of nuclear attacks.
Days after invading Ukraine in late February, Russian President Vladimir Putin put his atomic forces on heightened alert, citing fictitious NATO threats.
Kremlin spokesman Peskov later told CNN that Russia would feel justified in using its nuclear arsenal if it felt “an existential threat to our country,” without specifying exactly what would meet that standard.
Poland’s desire for more U.S. troops in the region comes as the nation has integrated nearly 2.5 million of the 4.2 million refugees who fled Ukraine during Russia’s brutal war.
With post wires