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Polish president says Russian use of chemical weapons in Ukraine would be ‘game changer’

Andrzej Duda Polish President (Katarzyna Czerwińska/WikiCommons)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Polish President Andrzej Duda has said that the use of chemical weapons in Ukraine by Russia would be a game changer and NATO would have to think seriously about how to respond.

Asked if the use of chemical weapons by Putin would be a red line for NATO, at which point it would have to get involved, Duda told BBC television on March 13: “If he uses any weapons of mass destruction then this will be a game changer in the whole thing.”

“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.”

His comments come after NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Russia might use chemical weapons in Ukraine and that such a move would be a war crime, according to an interview with the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

“In recent days, we have heard absurd claims about chemical and biological weapons laboratories,” Stoltenberg was quoted by Welt am Sonntag as saying, adding that the Kremlin was inventing false pretexts to justify what could not be justified.

“Now that these false claims have been made, we must remain vigilant because it is possible that Russia itself could plan chemical weapons operations under this fabrication of lies. That would be a war crime,” Stoltenberg told the German daily in the interview published on March 13.