Washington has no plans to deploy nuclear arms to any of its Eastern European NATO allies, the State Department says
The US will not deploy any nuclear weapons to Poland or any other NATO nation in the Eastern Europe, the US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesman Vedant Patel told journalists on Thursday. Earlier, Polish President Andrzej Duda floated such an idea.
The US “has no plans to deploy nuclear weapons” to any nation that “has joined NATO post-1997,” Patel said, when asked about Washington’s reaction to Duda’s words. The spokesman called Warsaw “an important NATO ally in the region” but said that he is not aware of this particular issue “being raised” in talks between the two allies.
His words came just hours after Duda said Poland could join Washington’s “nuclear sharing” program and let the US deploy nuclear arms to its territory amid what it sees as a growing threat from Russia. The Polish leader also claimed that Warsaw discussed the issue with Washington and such a possibility “remains open.”
Currently, US nuclear weapons are deployed in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey as part of the nuclear sharing program. The five NATO members only host the nukes, which remain in the ownership of Washington.
The discussion came amid concerns among the western nations about a potential use of nuclear weapons by Russia, which is involved in a protracted conflict with Ukraine. Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow was ready to “use all means” to defend itself if its territorial integrity was under threat. His words were then perceived by some in the West as an alleged threat to use nuclear weapons in the ongoing conflict.
High-ranking officials in Moscow as well as Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, then insisted that Russia was not threatening anyone with nukes since it still believes a nuclear conflict cannot be won and thus should not be started.