Andrzej Duda made the statement at a briefing in New York on Thursday night, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
Russia would ‘exclude itself from the civilised world’
The Polish president, who concluded a three-day stay in the US for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), told the media that the Russian leader Vladimir Putin and his generals were aware of the consequences of using nuclear weapons.
Duda said: “Using any nuclear weapons, even tactical nuclear weapons, against a country [Ukraine] that does not possess nuclear weapons, that is defending its territory against Russian aggression - the whole world knows it is a defence - if tactical nuclear weapons are used against this country, then these men are putting themselves outside the bounds of any world politics.”
He added: “This is not just about the threat of criminal tribunals and being held to account, and of potential long prison sentences, this is simply about an exclusion from the civilised world, for them and for Russia, for as long as they lead the country.”
‘US has nuclear weapons too’
The Polish president stressed: “The United States has nuclear buttons too. The US is a big nuclear power, the biggest military power in the world and the fact that the US is treating the Russian threat seriously represents a threat for Russia as well.”
“If Russia breaks all the taboos and uses even tactical nuclear weapons against a country [Ukraine] that doesn’t possess nuclear weapons and is defending its territory today, using only conventional arms, then Russia can expect a response,” he added.
Poland’s president said that Washington “is consistently pursuing a policy of tough, decisive, calm response to Russia.”
Stopping Russia’s imperial tendencies
Duda also reflected on his visit to New York for the UNGA, telling reporters it had been “time well spent” with many meetings with foreign leaders, not least the US President Joe Biden.
He said: “There was an opportunity to talk to President Biden. I thanked him for his speech yesterday. For a very calm response to Vladimir Putin’s earlier, essentially provocative address, and above all for maintaining the direction of American policy when it comes to defending Ukraine and supporting Ukraine.”
Duda voiced his hope that “the American troop presence in Poland will be strengthened and support to Ukraine will continue.”
The Polish head of state added: “Stopping Russia’s resurgent imperial tendencies today, maintaining Ukraine’s internationally recognised borders, which means Ukraine reclaiming Russian-occupied territories, this is the foundation of a future architecture of peace, if it is achieved, and we’re doing everything for it to be achieved, then our security will certainly be strengthened, the security of the entire Central Europe will be strengthened.”
Duda’s remarks came a day after Putin mobilised 300,000 reservists to assist in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and threatened to use nuclear weapons to defend his country.
The Polish president on Wednesday called the Kremlin leader’s announcement “a sign of weakness” and “an admission of defeat.”
Friday is day 212 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: PAP, wp.pl