Poland Embarks on Massive Spending to Overhaul Military Hardware  

EU | February 16, 2015, Monday // 22:05|  views

President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski (R) welcomes Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (L) prior to their meeting in Krakow, Poland, 27 January 2015. Photo EPA/BGNES

NATO member Poland, bordering conflict-torn Ukraine, has earmarked a whopping EUR 33.6 B in spending to modernise its armed forces.

The plans will bring Poland in line with NATO's recommended defense spending target of 2% of gross domestic product, AFP said on Monday.

The planned overhaul over a decade calls for the purchase of new military hardware including anti-aircraft systems, an anti-missile system as well as combat drones, armored personnel carriers and submarines.

Poland’s shopping list also includes helicopters and cruise missiles for submarines and drones.

According to Polish officials, “the risk of the conflict in eastern Ukraine heating up remains” even though a ceasefire agreement between the government in Kiev and pro-Russian separatists was signed last week in Belarus’ capital Minsk.

"The possibility of a lasting peace still isn't close," AFP quoted Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski as saying last week.

According to Gustav Gressel,  a defence analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations, Poland had planned an upgrade to its armed forces in 2012, but the conflict in Ukraine confirmed the necessity for modernisation and the overhaul now is to be sped up due to the situation in Ukraine, the Newsweek said.

Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said last week that Poland was drawing up a long-term plan to shift some of its military strength towards its eastern border, closer to Ukraine and Russia, in response to Moscow's involvement in Ukraine.

The West has repeatedly accused Moscow of aiding pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine, a charge the Kremlin has persistently denied.


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Tags: Poland, Defence, military, modernization, Siemoniak, Komorowski


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