As the fear of Russia using nuclear arms in Ukraine grows, Poland’s president has asked for the United States to share atomic weapons with them to deter Vladimir Putin from escalating into a nuclear war.

Polish president Andrzej Duda says he has been in talks with U.S. leaders to get nuclear warheads based on Polish territory. “We have spoken with American leaders about whether the United States is considering such a possibility. The issue is open,” Duda said.

The Polish President said that there is a “potential opportunity” for the country to engage in “nuclear sharing.”

Duda clarified that his country would just be holding the weapons ‘symbolically,’ not taking ownership of them. He also stated that Poland’s long-term goal is to “strengthen its security.”

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However, the White House says it has not received this type of request.

“We’re not aware of this issue being raised and would refer you to the government of Poland,” a U.S. official said about the matter.

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The White House also warned of “catastrophic consequences” if Putin resorted to nuclear warfare.

“There are ongoing discussions… about various scenarios and how we might react [to nuclear warfare],” said a Washington official. “Experts say that it is within the interest of everyone to avoid a war between NATO and Russia – which would represent something policymakers have been trying to prevent for almost 80 years.”

Nuclear experts have reported that holding nuclear weapons in Poland wouldn’t be a smart move. Additionally, such an action could violate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as well as the Nato-Russia Founding Act that was created at the end of the Cold War.

Director of the Federation of American Scientists’ (FAS) nuclear information project, Hans Kristensen, said that NATO deciding to move nuclear weapons closer to the Russian borders would be “an extraordinarily strange development.”

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