Putin may use chemical weapons, Polish president warns

The president thanked his compatriots for being so generous to their neighbours who are fleeing the war. Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

Russian President Vladimir Putin may resort to a chemical weapons attack as his plan to quickly capture Ukraine has failed, Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has told the BBC.

In a televised interview with the BBC's Sophie Raworth on Sunday, Duda said Putin was willing to do "everything" to win the war.

"If he uses any weapons of mass destruction, this will be a game changer in the whole thing," the Polish president said.

"And for sure, the North Atlantic Alliance and its leaders led by the United States will have to sit at a table and they will really have to think seriously about what to do because then it starts to become dangerous, not only for Europe, not only for our part of Europe or our region, for Central Europe, but for the entire world," Duda said.

"This is something the world hasn't seen since the Second World War," the president said. "And 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."

"Actually, politically he has already lost this war," Duda also said. "And militarily, he's not winning it."

The president thanked his compatriots for being so generous to their neighbours who are fleeing the war.

"Just imagine that 1.5 million refugees have crossed the Polish border and we have not built a single refugee camp because all of them have been accepted into private homes, hotels, guest houses, motels and resorts," Duda said.

However, the refugee influx is likely to place enormous pressure on Poland, Duda admitted as he quoted estimates that, in the worst-case scenario, Poland could see 2.5 million refugees from Ukraine.

Since February 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine, 1.68 million people have crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border into Poland, the Border Guard tweeted on Sunday morning.