An official from Poland’s Defense Ministry says Warsaw is considering whether to request access to nuclear weapons through a NATO program that involves nonnuclear states borrowing them from the United States.
Poland’s Deputy Defense Minister Tomasz Szatkowski told the private broadcaster Polsat on December 5 that the issue is currently being discussed within the ministry.
The development comes amid growing concerns in Poland and the Baltics about Russia’s military buildup in the region and the Kremlin’s role in Ukraine’s conflict.
Szatkowski’s comments mark the first time a Polish official has said Warsaw was considering NATO's so-called "nuclear-sharing" program in order to strengthen the country's ability to defend itself.
Only three countries in the 28-member NATO alliance have a nuclear weapons capability -- the United States, France, and Britain.
But Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey have hosted U.S. nuclear weapons as part of the nuclear-sharing program.
Based on reporting by AP and Polsat