News Poland Politics & International

Russian use of chemical weapons in Ukraine would be “game-changer”, Polish President says

Direct_Line_with_Vladimir_Putin_(2021-06-30)_09

Warsaw, Poland – Polish President Andrzej Duda warned that if Russia used chemical weapons in its war against Ukraine, that could be a “game-changer” for NATO.

In an interview with the BBC on Sunday, March 13, Duda was asked whether Putin’s potential use of chemical weapons in Ukraine would constitute a red line for NATO.

Chemical weapons in Ukraine seen as “game-changer”

“If he uses any weapons of mass destruction then this will be a game-changer in the whole thing,” he responded.

“For sure the North Atlantic Alliance and its leaders led by the United States will have to sit at the table and they will really have to think seriously what to do because then it starts to be dangerous,” Poland‘s head of state commented.

“If you’re asking me whether Putin can use chemical weapons, I think that Putin can use anything right now, especially that he’s in a very difficult situation” politically and militarily, Duda warned.

Earlier today, NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg echoed concerns Moscow could move on to use chemical weapons in its war in Ukraine, saying “that would be a war crime”.

Worrying “fabrication of lies”

Stoltenberg warned that Russia’s false claim that Ukraine was storing biological weapons could be used by the Kremlin as a pretext to order chemical strikes.

“Now that these false claims have been made, we must remain vigilant because it is possible that Russia itself could plan operations with chemical weapons under this fabrication of lies,” he told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

The warning comes a few days after White House spokeswoman Jan Psaki said the US was “very concerned” about the possibility of Russia escalating the conflict with non-convention weapons, including chemical or biological attacks.

In an op-ed published on Saturday, The Guardian warned that “Putin may be willing to use the most grotesque means to break Ukrainian resistance”.

“Putin cannot afford to fail,” columnist and emeritus professor of peace studies Paul Roger wrote. “His future, that of those around him, and indeed his whole vision depend on success, and he has already used extreme violence to this end. The risk of chemical warfare may still be small, but it is there.”