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Polish leader is “open” to keeping US nuclear weapons there, wants more American soldiers

Poland’s most powerful politician said he was “open” to the US stationing nuclear weapons in his country, a neighbor of Ukraine — and condemned it on Monday by the Kremlin, which warned that this would only heighten tensions amid fears of a nuclear war would strengthen.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party, told the German weekly Welt am Sonntag that “extending nuclear involvement to the eastern flank makes fundamental sense”.

“If the Americans asked us to store US nuclear weapons in Poland, we would be open to it,” he said in an interview on Sunday, also published on his party’s website.

“That would significantly strengthen the deterrent against Moscow,” he said, but also called for a much stronger presence of US soldiers in Europe, especially on NATO’s eastern flank.

He said that “Poland would welcome an increase in the American presence in Europe in the future from the current 100,000 troops to 150,000 troops due to increasing Russian aggression.”

“Of these, 75,000 soldiers were to be stationed on the eastern flank; ie on the border with Russia; 50,000 soldiers in the Baltic States and in Poland,” he said in an interview.

Jaroslaw Kaczyński.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party, said the country is “open” to stockpiling US nuclear weapons.
Andrzej Lange/EPO
nuclear warheads.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski stated that “it makes sense to extend nuclear involvement to the eastern flank”.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Kremlin condemned his comments on Monday, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov warning that such a move would only increase tensions amid ongoing fears of nuclear attacks.

A few days after the invasion of Ukraine at the end of February, Russian President Vladimir Putin put his nuclear forces on increased alert, citing fake threats from NATO.

Kremlin spokesman Peskov later told CNN that Russia would feel entitled to use its nuclear arsenal if it saw itself “as an existential threat to our country,” without specifying what would meet that standard.

US military vehicles are parked at a local airport in Arlamov, Poland.
US military vehicles are parked at a local airport in Arlamov, Poland.
Zarek Sokolowski/AP
Ukrainian soldiers guard a checkpoint on the outskirts of Kyiv.
Ukrainian soldiers guard a checkpoint on the outskirts of Kyiv.
Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (C) stands on a street with damaged Russian machines.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Ukrainian soldiers stand on a street with damaged Russian planes.
Press Service of the President of Ukraine/EPA

Poland’s desire for more US troops in the region comes as the country has taken in nearly 2.5 million of the 4.2 million refugees who fled Ukraine during Russia’s brutal war.

With postal wires

https://nypost.com/2022/04/04/polish-leader-open-to-keeping-us-nukes-there-wants-more-american-soldiers/ Polish leader is “open” to keeping US nuclear weapons there, wants more American soldiers

JACLYN DIAZ

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