Russia Will Target US Nuclear Weapons In Poland If They Appear

Russia has warned that Poland will make itself a ‘priority target’ if it hosts NATO nuclear weapons on its territory. In a Thursday statement Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said “Moves in this direction will not provide greater security (for Poland or other nations that host such weapons).” He was further quoted in Russian media as saying

Moscow considers any expansion of NATO’s nuclear-sharing arrangement as “deeply destabilizing” in nature, “and in fact threatening” Russia, Ryabkov was quoted as saying by TASS on Thursday. This applies to joint missions, where non-nuclear members of the US-led bloc are trained to use American hardware, and even more so to the permanent stationing of such weapons “which hotheads in Warsaw are talking about,” he said.

In follow-up, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stipulated that “any nuclear weapons deployed to Poland would be legitimate targets in the event of war with the alliance.” Russian media translations said Moscow would see this as a “priority target”.

All of this was in response to words issued by Polish President Andrzej Duda in a Monday interview. He said his country is “ready” to host nuclear weapons should NATO decide to do so as reinforcement of its eastern flank. It remains that the United States chiefly supplies and oversees NATO’s nuclear-sharing program, thus any possible future nukes in Poland would be supplied by Washington.

“Russia is increasingly militarizing the Königsberg oblast (Kaliningrad). Recently, it has been relocating its nuclear weapons to Belarus,” Duda continued, apparently wanting to match and mirror Russian moves. Indeed Belarus is now believed to host possibly dozens of Russian tactical nukes.

via infobrics.org

“If our allies decide to deploy nuclear weapons as part of nuclear sharing on our territory as well, in order to strengthen the security of NATO’s eastern flank, we are ready for it,” the Polish president had added.

Duda additionally said while discussing the topic of NATO’s nuclear sharing program in the interview that Warsaw and Washington have been in talks “for some time.” He emphasized: “I’ve already talked about it several times. I must admit that when asked about it, I declared our readiness.”

But the reality is Brussels and Washington are likely to be deeply hesitant based on the nuclear threats emanating from Moscow of late. Moving NATO warheads to Polish soil would most certainly greatly intensify the already somewhat high nuclear tensions, and at a moment the proxy war in Ukraine shows no sings of abating.

While three NATO members are officially nuclear weapons states – the United States, France and the United Kingdom – others are authorized to host nukes (typically ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons). They are Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.

Apparently Poland is now throwing its name in the hat for NATO’s nuclear-sharing program, which would expand Western nuke placement right up to Russia’s backyard. The Kremlin would no doubt deploy more of its strategic assets near Eastern Europe in such a scenario.

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