Are Nato and Russia heading for nuclear showdown? – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Poland has expressed its readiness to host nuclear weapons on its borders as tensions between Nato and Russia escalate. In a bold statement, Polish President Andrzej Duda indicated that Poland would take up nuclear arms if requested by Nato. This comes amid concerns over Russia’s increasing military presence in nearby regions.
President Duda, in a recent interview, highlighted the militarization of Kaliningrad by Russia and the relocation of nuclear weapons to Belarus.He stated, “If our allies decide to deploy nuclear arms on our territory as part of nuclear sharing, to reinforce Nato’s eastern flank, we are ready to do so. I’ve already talked about it several times. I must admit that when asked about it, I declared our readiness.”
This readiness by Poland situates it strategically in the ongoing conflict dynamics, especially considering its proximity to Ukraine, Belarus, and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. The discussions about nuclear deployment are part of broader conversations with the United States, aimed at reinforcing security against potential Russian aggressions in Europe.
Moscow has warned that it would take necessary measures to “ensure its security” should Poland proceed with hosting nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has not shied away from discussing the utility of nuclear weapons, stating in a television interview, “Weapons exist in order to use them… We are ready to use weapons, including any weapons, including [nuclear], if we are talking about the existence of the Russian state, harming our sovereignty and independence.”
Meanwhile, the US Senate is reconvening in Washington on Tuesday to cast votes on $95 billion in war assistance for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, completing the last legislative steps to forward the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk after prolonged delays and heated debates internally about the extent of US foreign involvement.
The allocation of $61 billion for Ukraine is critical as the country, ravaged by war, urgently requires new military capabilities while Russian President Vladimir Putin intensifies his assaults. Ukrainian forces are finding it difficult to maintain their positions as Russia gains the upper hand on the battlefield, prompting Ukraine to relinquish substantial areas.
On Monday, Biden assured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the US would imminently dispatch vital air defense systems. Following the House’s endorsement of the aid package through four separate votes on Saturday, it was returned to the Senate for final ratification.
“The President has assured me that the package will be approved quickly and that it will be powerful, strengthening our air defense as well as long-range and artillery capabilities,” Zelenskyy stated in a message on X, previously known as Twitter.
(With inputs from agencies)

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