Poland plans to strengthen its army in the face of threats from Belarus and Russia | News | DW

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The Polish government unveiled a national defense bill on Tuesday, which could give the country’s military a boost.

The leader of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who is also deputy prime minister, said the bill was a response to current global trends and Poland’s political geography.

Speaking at a press conference in Warsaw, Kaczynski cited “Russia’s imperial ambitions” and the challenge of migrants on its eastern border with Belarus as the main security challenges.

“If we want to avoid the worst, which is war, we have to act according to the old rule: ‘If you want peace, prepare for war,'” Kaczynski said.

What does the defense plan consist of?

Kaczynski and Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak jointly presented the defense proposal.

The number of troops would more than double from the current number of 110,000 to 250,000 troops, as well as 50,000 reserve troops.

Kaczynski said the plan involved purchasing military equipment produced in the United States and elsewhere in the EU.

The increase in the number of troops would not require a return to compulsory national service, officials said.

Blaszczak said an Armed Forces Support Fund would be created to support the plan, with funding coming from government guaranteed bonds.

Although no exact figure was provided, officials said the funding would be significantly higher than the 2% of gross domestic product, which is the benchmark for defense spending by NATO member states.

The proposed bill has yet to be approved by the parliament and the president of the country.

kb / wmr (AP, dpa, Reuters)


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