Poland is reportedly in the process of revamping its military capabilities, more than doubling the size of its army, and increasing its budget to counter potential threats from Russia. The country has expressed concern over Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine and other neighboring countries, including the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
According to a report by Reuters, the Polish government plans to increase the number of troops from 79,000 to 200,000 by 2035 and increase its defense budget to 2.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030. The Polish government’s move comes amid concerns over Russia’s military presence and activities in the region, particularly in Ukraine.
In recent years, tensions between the two countries have been high, with Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 leading to an ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. Poland, which shares a border with Russia, has been particularly concerned about its security in light of these developments.
Some trainees want to brush up on skills that they learned long ago in the army. Others come to size up the military as Poland embarks on an ambitious plan to double the size of its armed forces to 300,000 troops.https://t.co/7Wb2Hzg89G
— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) December 7, 2022
The increase in the size of the Polish army is part of a broader plan to modernize the country’s military capabilities. The government has also reportedly ordered new weapons, including submarines and drones, as part of a $45 billion modernization plan.
The move has been met with support from NATO, with Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stating that “Poland is investing in our collective defense.” The United States has also expressed support for Poland’s increased military capabilities, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken stating that “the United States will continue to stand by our NATO ally and partner.”
However, the move has also been criticized by Russia, which sees the increased military capabilities of its neighbor as a threat. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko stated that the move “can only lead to an increase in tensions and an arms race in Europe.”
Despite these concerns, Poland’s government has emphasized that the move is necessary to ensure its security and defend its sovereignty. “We are determined to strengthen our defense capabilities and ensure the safety of our citizens,” stated Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak.