Mariusz Błaszczak said afterwards that his meeting with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin explored “possibilities of speeding up the supply of military equipment already ordered by Poland,” Polish state news agency PAP reported.
Błaszczak noted that his country ordered the Patriot missile defence system from the United States in 2018; F-35 combat aircraft in 2020; and 250 Abrams tanks earlier this month, among other deals.
He told reporters he had thanked Austin for his personal involvement in the Abrams contract, without which “Poland wouldn’t have been able to buy the latest, state-of-the-art version of these tanks.”
The Polish defence minister announced that his government would soon order more military hardware from Washington.
‘Bolstering NATO’s eastern flank deters Russia’
Błaszczak said that “the strengthening of the eastern edge of the NATO alliance and America’s leadership are the main factors deterring Russia from attacking NATO members.”
He added that Poland was “proud of being able to host US troops, which enables us to strengthen our defence links.”
“Hopefully we’ll maintain the momentum in this respect,” Błaszczak stated.
‘Support for Ukraine is happening’
Błaszczak added that his talks with Austin also focused on aid to Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.
“In this regard, we are providing support, we are taking action, while at the same time being economical with comments - I believe everyone understands that,” he told reporters.
Błaszczak, who is making a three-day visit to the United States, said he would also meet with “arms contractors, including Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and Boeing.”
The talks come as Poland aims “to step up military spending and boost national defences” under a new law that comes into effect on Saturday, Błaszczak told reporters.
'Helping Polish military become one of the most capable in Europe'
Meanwhile, America's Austin “commended Poland on the important role it continues to play to help the Ukrainian people resist Russia’s invasion and seek refuge from violence,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
The two defence ministers also agreed “to work together to help the Polish military become one of the most capable in Europe,” according to US officials.
Wednesday was day 56 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: PAP, defense.gov