English Section

Poland is ready to double defence spending to deter Russia: FM

26.02.2024 10:30
Poland is ready to double its defence spending to deter Russia, the Polish foreign minister has said.
Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski.
Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski.Photo: PAP/Marcin Cholewiński

Speaking in an interview with US broadcaster CNN on Sunday, Sikorski said that Poland was aiming to spend "close to 4 percent of GDP" on defence.

He added that, if Russian President Vladimir Putin "really threatens us," Poland will "double" its defence spending.

"We will not be a Russian colony again," Sikorski told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.

Sikorski also said in the interview that the NATO alliance "is not a contract with a neighborhood security company: you pay and therefore, you protect me."

He said: "Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which established NATO, has only been invoked once so far, after 9/11 in defence of the United States."

He added: "And after the appeal from the United States, we sent troops to Afghanistan. Poland sent a brigade to Ghazni, a tough province. Before that, we sent a brigade to Iraq where we were responsible for protecting 5 million Iraqis. When that mission was accomplished, we did not send an invoice to Washington."

"Alliances help the United States, not just the allies," Sikorski remarked.

Asked about a recent statement by former US President Donald Trump suggesting that America would not defend NATO countries that do not spend enough on defence, Sikorski said: "Well, we hope this is just the former president's flamboyant style, that what he meant was that he really wants us to spend at least 2 percent of GDP on defence and on substance he's right."

Sikorski told Zakaria: "Poland has been spending 2 percent for 15 years. We've now gone on to ... 3 percent of GDP. In fact, we'll be spending close to 4 percent of GDP. And I'll tell you more. If needs be, if Putin really threatens us, we will double it because we will not be a Russian colony again."

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, starting the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War II.

Monday is day 733 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, onet.plcnn.com