express– A politician in the ex-Soviet satellite state has said Poland could increase its armed forces from just 110,000 to 250,000. According to the Times, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, 72, warned Warsaw needs a “serious and independent deterrent force” as NATO might not be ready to mobilise swiftly enough against the Kremlin’s actions.
Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the governing Law and Justice Party described the proposed bill he presented on Tuesday as needed to “defend the fatherland”.
“If we want to avoid the worst, that is war, we have to act according to the old rule: ‘If you want peace, prepare for war,'” he added.
But Mr Kaczynski also claimed Russo-Polish relations have “worsened”.
“We have a hybrid war, provocations, the Russian army and Russia’s imperial ambitions,” the Deputy Prime Minister added.
While Warsaw has concerns about Moscow, Poland also shares borders with the Putin-sympathising nation of Belarus.
Earlier this week, the Financial Times reported that Poland had boosted its troops on the Belarusian border by 2500 to cope with a surge in migrants leaving the authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko’s nation.
In response, Warsaw’s senate has even started to push for a €350million wall along the Polish-Belarus border.
Poland shares another land border with the heavily-armed Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.
But Mr Kaczynski’s warning about NATO’s strength comes after it was revealed Poland was one of just nine member nations to have met the commitment to spend at least two percent of GDP on defence
According to data collated by NATO, Poland spends 2.1 percent of its GDP on defence.
Greece topped the list with a total percentage GDP spend of 3.8 percent.
The US came in a close second with 3.5 percent.
Croatia currently spends the third most in GDP percentage terms – with 2.8 percent.
Britain then comes in next with contributing around 2.3 percent of its GDP.
The other nations who met the 2 percent pledge include: Estonia, France, Romania, Latvia and Lithuania.
Germany and Italy were among the NATO members who failed to reach the target.