Poland is interested in joining NATO’s Nuclear Sharing programme, the Polish president’s foreign policy advisor Jakub Kumoch said on Friday. He said this was the result of Moscow annulling a 1997 NATO-Russia agreement barring the deployment of permanent NATO forces in Eastern Europe by attacking Ukraine.
“We’re very much interested in the deployment of NATO forces in Poland, and we’re interested in participating in the Nuclear Sharing programme,” Kumoch told private TV broadcaster Polsat News.
Nuclear Sharing is part of NATO’s policy of nuclear deterrence, which allows member countries without nuclear weapons to take part in planning for their use by Nato. The weapons are hosted by certain countries but remain under the control of the United States.
In early September, President Andrzej Duda said in an interview for “Gazeta Polska” that Poland had held talks with the US about the possibility of the country joining the Nuclear Sharing programme.
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In response to the announcement, US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said that the US was not carrying out negotiations with Poland on the deployment of nuclear weapons under the programme and added that his country was not planning to deploy nuclear weapons in any NATO member state that joined the bloc after 1997.
“The president did not say that Poland was carrying out talks, but that such talks had taken place,” Kumoch said. “They were at a so-called conceptual phase, which means that Poland is interested in participating in the Nuclear Sharing programme, and this was communicated to the US side at a certain moment.”
Commenting on Patel’s reference to new NATO members, Kumoch said that the 1997 NATO-Russia agreement, which barred the deployment of permanent NATO forces in Eastern Europe, was “dead” owing to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Nuclear sharing is a concept in NATO’s nuclear deterrence policy that allows member states without their own nuclear weapons to participate in NATO’s Nuclear Planning Group (NPG) for their use. In particular, it provides for nuclear weapons to be made available to the armed forces of these countries.
Among the three nuclear powers in NATO (France, the United Kingdom, and the United States), only the United States is known for nuclear sharing. Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey have had American nuclear weapons on their territory since November 2009.