He made the declaration at the 31st International Defence Industry Exhibition in the south-central city of Kielce on Tuesday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
In a speech to open the event, Duda said: “Today, when we see the emerging danger beyond our eastern border, when we see the resurgence of imperialism … there is no price we won’t pay to ensure that Poland is free, sovereign and independent, and that Polish people can live secure lives.”
Duda added that “Polish soldiers must be well-armed to ensure they don’t need to fight” to defend the country.
The president said that the Polish government plans to spend PLN 137 billion (EUR 30.5 billion) on defence in 2024.
Duda stated: “It’s a figure that is drawing attention all over the world. It’s more than 4 percent of our GDP.”
He told the gathering that "such vast funding" would enable the government to “dynamically modernise the Polish army,” the PAP news agency reported.
Poland's defence spending will reach nearly 4 percent of its GDP in 2023, placing Warsaw at the top of the NATO rankings for the first time, according to news outlets.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said that Poland was buying “the most advanced military equipment in the world” to strengthen its army.
Błaszczak told the audience in Kielce that later in the day he would sign “another contract for the supply of US-made Patriot air defence systems for the Polish armed forces.”
The defence minister noted that in recent years, Poland had acquired the American-made HIMARS artillery rocket launchers, the US-made F-35 stealth jets, due to be delivered next year, the American Abrams main battle tanks, Bayraktar combat drones from Turkey and various military equipment from South Korea.
Błaszczak stated: “We are strengthening the Polish army, ensuring our homeland is secure, because it’s the best way to deter an aggressor. It’s a guarantee of our security. Aggressors won’t dare attack a country that has a strong army.”
The defence minister also said he was “pleased with the excellent cooperation” between the government and the Polish arms industry, the PAP news agency reported.
Tuesday is day 559 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.
Source: PAP, prezydent.pl