The Polish Parliament approved an increase in defence spending amid a “threat from the East”. The country is going to increase to 2.5% of GDP, which significantly exceeds the level required by NATO
Photo: Jakob Ratz / Zuma / TASS
The Polish Sejm (lower house of Parliament) overwhelmingly approved an increase in defense spending above the level required by NATO, against the “Russian threat,” reports ABC News.
According to the document approved by the Polish legislature, in 2020 the costs of Poland”s defense should be no lower than 2.1% of the GDP, and in 2020 — not less than 2.5% of GDP. While NATO is asking its member countries to allocate at least 2% of GDP.
The Minister of defence of Poland, Anthony Macierewicz said Friday that the increase was needed as a response to the “threat from the East” Russia “uses force to achieve its political goals”, the Agency added.
The chief of staff, said the commander of NATO forces about the beginning of the exercises “West-2017”
The document will need approval of the upper house of Parliament, after which it will go to the President for signature.
At the end of August, Macierewicz said that the additional funds will go to a deep modernization of the armed forces. In particular, it concerns the increase of the personnel of the land forces and procurement of these new weapons, relevant NATO standards. The Deputy Minister of national defense Tomasz Gatkowski then noted that two-thirds of the weapons and equipment are of Soviet and Polish samples, inherited the Polish army from the Warsaw Pact.
The decision to increase defense spending for countries — members of NATO to 2% of the runway was taken at a summit of the Alliance in Newport in 2014. In June of this year, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the summit in Brussels stated that the required level of defense spending made up only five countries in the bloc.
The approval by the Seimas of the increase in defense spending occurred against the backdrop of passing in these days the largest in recent years Russian-Belarusian military exercises “West-2017”, which have caused serious concern to NATO.
The Deputy head of the Ministry of defense of Russia Alexander Fomin yesterday in an interview with German Deutshe Welle answered the concern of the Western colleagues. He stated that the term “West” should not be taken in a political sense. “The term “West” means West of the Russian Federation and Belarus, which the West than Russia,” said Fomin. “Exercises are absolutely peaceful and absolutely defensive in nature”, — said the Deputy Minister.