NATO members Poland and Slovakia to increase defense spending
Poland’s Morawiecki said that next year his government would spend more than 100 billion zlotys ($21.4 billion) “or maybe even 130 billion zlotys ($27.8 billion)” to modernize the armed forces.
He said it would represent between 3% and 4% of Poland’s GDP – one of the highest defense budgets among NATO’s 30 members. Poland currently spends just over 2% of its GDP on its military.
“The best strategy is to deter the adversary with the power of one’s own army and through cooperation with others,” Morawiecki said.
Slovak Heger said his government was “intensively modernizing the armed forces”, adding that Russia’s attack on Ukraine showed the need for regional defense cooperation.
Morawiecki and Heger observed the maneuvers of nearly 2,000 Polish, Slovak, Czech, Hungarian, American and British soldiers. The PUMA-22 exercise took place at a firing range in Nowa Deba, in southeastern Poland, some 150 kilometers (90 miles) from the border with Ukraine.
“We want to create peace and we want to show that we have enough strength to protect peace,” Heger said.