Poland May Ask for Access to NATO Nuclear Weapons

Deputy defense minister Tomasz Szatkowski says Poland currently discussing whether to ask for access to so-called 'nuclear sharing' program to strengthen Poland's ability to defend itself.

Family photo during the NATO ministerial meetings at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, December 1, 2015.
AFP/Jonathan Ernst

A Polish official says that the Defense Ministry is considering asking for access to nuclear weapons through a NATO program which involves non-nuclear states borrowing them from the United States.

Tomasz Szatkowski, the deputy defense minister, said that the ministry is currently discussing whether to ask for access to NATO's so-called "nuclear sharing" program to strengthen the country's ability to defend itself.

Polish media say Szatkowski's comments Saturday to the private broadcaster Polsat mark the first time a Polish official has said the country wants to join the program.

The 28-member NATO has three nuclear powers, the U.S., France and Britain, but only the U.S. has provided weapons to allies for nuclear sharing. Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey have hosted nuclear weapons as part of the program.