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Poland will keep expanding army and supporting Ukraine in 2023, defence minister says

05.01.2023 12:30
Poland’s defence minister has said that the government will continue to strengthen the Polish army this year and support Ukraine against Russia's invasion.
Mariusz Błaszczak.
Mariusz Błaszczak.PAP/Marcin Obara

Mariusz Błaszczak made the declaration in a press interview published on Thursday, Polish state news agency PAP reported. 

The defence minister told the monthly magazine Polska Zbrojna: “The year 2023 will bring new equipment deliveries, new contracts, intensive training of army units and the creation of new military structures” in the east of the country.

Błaszczak, who doubles as a deputy prime minister, added that Poland "will also be making every possible effort" to help Ukraine defend itself against invading Russian forces.

US tanks, South Korean weaponry

Asked about efforts to modernise the Polish army, Błaszczak said that new military hardware, including US-made Abrams tanks and K2 tanks and K9 gun howitzers from South Korea, “will be deployed mainly in eastern Poland, with the 16th and 18th Mechanised Divisions.”

Błaszczak announced: “This year will see the arrival of new batches of these weapons … as well as the [South Korean] K239 Chunmoo rocket artillery systems as we create new rocket units.”

Meanwhile, "the FA 50 light combat aircraft [from South Korea] will be stationed in the eastern town of Mińsk Mazowiecki," he added.

Błaszczak told Polska Zbrojna: “We are deploying new military equipment in eastern Poland because that is where our army needs to be strengthened.”

'Poland is among the leading members of NATO'

The defence minister also hailed "close cooperation with the United States," saying that 2023 will see a “further expansion of the US Army base in Powidz in western Poland.”

Błaszczak said in the interview that “Poland is among the leading members of NATO when it comes to defence spending.”   

He told Polska Zbrojna: “Russia is trying to rebuild its empire. The hybrid attack on our border with Belarus was a prelude to the attack on Ukraine. These actions are directed against the free world.”

The defence minister declared: “Our task is to strengthen the Polish army as much as possible, because we cannot let the enemy take an inch of Polish land.” 

He added: “We are also making every possible effort to help Ukraine defend itself and drive the Russian aggressor away.”

Thursday is day 316 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, polska-zbrojna.pl