Poland is in talks with US about joining nuclear weapons sharing scheme

Polish President Andrzej Duda said the plan is to counter growing threats from Russia. PHOTO: REUTERS

WARSAW - Poland is in talks with the United States about participating in the nuclear weapons sharing programme to counter growing threats from Russia, President Andrzej Duda told the Gazeta Polska newspaper.

The biggest eastern European member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) has been ramping up military spending following Russia's invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, but until now officials have not broached the topic of seeking nuclear weapons as a deterrent.

"The problem first of all is that we don't have nuclear weapons," President Duda said in comments published on Wednesday.

"There is always a potential opportunity to participate in nuclear sharing. We have spoken to American leaders about whether the US is considering such a possibility. The topic is open."

He said there is "no indication that in the near future", Poland will gain nuclear weapons, according to the report.

Nuclear sharing is part of Nato's policy of nuclear deterrence, which allows member countries without such weapons to take part in planning for their use by Nato.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has in past days sought to sow fear with hints that further escalation in Ukraine may involve arms that have not been used in war since 1945.

So far, US and European officials have said there is no sign of any such preparations and the nuclear threats have remained purely rhetorical.

Poland, one of the staunchest supporters of Ukraine in the seven-month war with Russia, is holding separate talks with a number of countries, including the US, about acquiring atomic energy. BLOOMBERG

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.