Poland considers asking for access to NATO nuclear weapons

WARSAW, POLAND: A Polish official says that the Defense Ministry is considering asking for access to nuclear weapons through a NATO programme 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" programme 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 programme.

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