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Polish president urges NATO allies to spend 3% of GDP on defense amid Russia's war in Ukraine

11.03.2024 12:00
During a preparatory meeting ahead of a visit to Washington, Polish President Andrzej Duda said he is poised to propose that NATO allies increase their defense spending to 3 percent of GDP to bolster the alliance's strength and readiness amid Russia's war in Ukraine.
Photo:PAP/EPA/Tomas Kalnins

Duda and Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk are set to hold talks with US President Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday.

"I want to propose in the near future ... during our visit to the White House--and I will be discussing this with all our allies, including with the NATO secretary-general at NATO headquarters--that member countries jointly decide ... to spend not 2 percent, but 3 percent of GDP on defense," Duda said at a meeting of Poland’s National Security Council on Monday.

He emphasized the need for a strategic push for enhanced military capabilities within NATO reflecting a broader response to geopolitical tensions, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Duda argued that "a robust NATO is less likely to be challenged."

He said: "No one will dare to attack a strong NATO; no one will dare to attack strong countries; no one will dare to attack countries that will know how to defend themselves efficiently, countries that will be ready to stand up to defend their borders and land."

Reflecting on Poland's commitment to defense and security, Duda credited both the current and previous governments for their efforts to strengthen the nation's deterrence capabilities.

He said: "The answer to Russian aggression is increasing NATO's military capabilities ... There must be a clear and bold response to Russian aggression; that response will be to increase the military potential of the North Atlantic Alliance."

The Polish president stressed the strategic importance of NATO's latest round of enlargement to include Finland and Sweden, saying it was a testament to the alliance's growing strength and a message to Russia.

"For us, especially in our part of Europe, this latest expansion is of fundamental importance ... the North Atlantic Alliance has admitted two very strong nations with very strong armies in our neighborhood, in the Baltic Sea region," he said.

"In the near future, NATO should be able to make a bold decision to admit Ukraine," Duda added.


Source: PAP