After the U.S. State Department denied any talks with Poland about a nuclear sharing program that would place U.S. nuclear weapons on Polish soil, a top Polish official said that discussions were being conducted, but have not involved the State Department.
The matter “is not on a stage where the State Department is involved,” said Jakub Kumoch, the head of the International Policy Bureau in the Chancellery of the President of Poland.
On Friday, the U.S. State Department’s spokesperson, Vedant Patel, stated that the United States is not negotiating with Poland on the possibility of deploying nuclear weapons under the nuclear sharing policy. He pointed out that the U.S. does not plan to deploy nuclear weapons on territory of any country that joined NATO after 1997.
Previously, in an interview for the Gazeta Polska paper, Polish President Andrzej Duda said that Poland discussed the possibility of including the country beneath the NATO nuclear umbrella with the U.S.
Kumoch was asked to comment on Patel’s statement about the lack of negotiations during an interview by the Polish Press Agency (PAP). He answered that the U.S. State Department’s spokesman might be “unaware of such plans.”
“I know that such a topic had appeared, however, it is not on a stage where the State Department is involved, and specific conversations take place,” Kumoch said.
Kumoch stressed that some of the talks between presidents of different nations are held privately. “The president did not specify in the interview what the American reaction would be,” he said.
“Poland believes that all NATO countries should be protected equally, also from a nuclear attack. There are different solutions, one of them being the nuclear sharing program and the president drew attention to it,” Kumoch said.
He was also asked about the statement made by the leader of Civic Platform, Donald Tusk, who said that until “such messy administration” with “political monsters” in control of public life, he would prefer if Poland had no access to nuclear weapons, as “something very bad could happen.”
Kumoch replied saying that “wishing that your own country does not have a weapon of defense only because it is ruled by your political enemy is greatly unpatriotic.”
“I’d prefer Poland to be safe no matter who is politically ruling it,” he added.
NATO’s nuclear sharing program is an element of the Alliance’s policy of nuclear deterrence. It allows sharing nuclear warheads to member states that do not have access to them. Since November 2009, U.S. nuclear weapons have been deployed to Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey.