Poland Urges NATO to Respond More Aggressively to Putin's Nuclear Threats
The "gangster-like" nuclear threats from Vladimir Putin demand a far more aggressive response from NATO, including deploying more nuclear-armed aircraft, according to the Rajmund Andrzejczak, Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces.
As reported by The Guardian, referring to Russia's repeated threats to use nuclear weapons and the placement of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, Andrzejczak likened Russia to a gangster brandishing a weapon at the table, while the West arrives without arms in casual attire.
He said, "It seems we are dealing with gangsters, crazy bad guys. Everyone goes to the park and smokes cigars, while the gangsters put their weapons on the table, and we, in our Hawaiian shirts, say, 'Well, I have a shotgun, but I left it at home, and my wife doesn't like that word.'"
"NATO is a nuclear organization; the alliance needs to be much more active and robust toward the Russians."
He pointed out that in the 1970s and 1980s, 30% of B-52 bombers were on constant alert with nuclear weapons and ready-to-act crews.
Andrzejczak said, "Today, the task is to pronounce the word "B61" (the main thermonuclear weapon of the US strategic nuclear forces). So, let's change the narratives."
"What's wrong with us? Russia remains the same, and we have a situation in a neighboring country where Russia publicly declares that it's deploying nuclear systems in Belarus, and what are we doing in our Hawaiian shirts? I don't want to overstate it, but what's wrong with our vocabulary? NATO is a nuclear organization. End of story."
He said that Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, asked to join NATO’s nuclear sharing programme owing to the deployment of Russian nuclear missiles to Belarus. 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 US.
Andrzejczak also questioned what NATO plans to do in response to an attack on NATO territory, carried out by the Wagner Group, including whether NATO would invoke Article 5 of its self-defence clause in response to Russia's attack.
He asked, "Who are the Wagner Group today? Are they Russia's armed forces, or as Russia's defense minister says, just a private military company? Will there be enough grounds to invoke Article 5?"
He emphasized that this issue is highly sensitive for Poland, given its direct border with Russia's Kaliningrad region and Belarus.
Additionally, Andrzejczak expressed doubts about North Korea selling weapons to Russia without China's consent. He said, "I don't think North Korea is strong enough or free enough to make such an offer, so perhaps it is testing our determination, attention, and political will."
In his view, what China has to say about this matter is more crucial than the North Korean leadership's intentions.