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Senators vote to expand Poland's armed forces amid Russia-Ukraine war

17.03.2022 15:00
Poland aims to modernise and expand its armed forces into one of the strongest in NATO, under a homeland defence bill backed unanimously by senators on Thursday.
The upper house of Polands parliament, the Senate, in session in Warsaw on Thursday, March 17, 2022.
The upper house of Poland's parliament, the Senate, in session in Warsaw on Thursday, March 17, 2022. Photo: PAP/Albert Zawada

The measure, which was previously approved by the lower house of Poland's bicameral parliament, now goes to President Andrzej Duda for signing into law.

Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński, who is in charge of security, has said that the homeland defence bill is designed to "create the legal basis and financial instruments for a radical expansion of Poland's armed forces in terms of both manpower and firepower."

Kaczyński, who heads Poland's ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, told reporters last year that a country located at the external border of the European Union must have a major deterrence capability and be able to defend itself on its own for a long time.”

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak has said that the legislation will "lay the foundations for the development of Poland's armed forces" by opening up new sources of funding for the military and helping increase its numbers through new incentives for voluntary enlistment.

Under the bill, Poland will set aside at least 3 percent of its GDP for defence starting next year, up from 2.2 percent in 2022, and its armed forces will increase to about 300,000 troops, including 250,000 career soldiers, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

The new rules are due to take effect on July 1 and replace regulations dating back to 1967, officials said.


Source: IAR, PAP, TVP Info