Poland calls for increased Nato defence spending

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Poland calls for increased Nato defence spending

Mariusz Blaszczak, Poland's defence minister, presented his country's position at a meeting with his Nato counterparts in Brussels on Thursday.

The budget of the North Atlantic Alliance is now lower than at the beginning of the 1990s despite Nato having 30 members now compared to 16 at the time, Blaszczak said at a press briefing after the meeting.

He said that there was a war, and there was no war back then, referring to Russia's attack on Ukraine.

With regard to this, Poland advocated for increasing the Nato budget in undertakings that we will finance together, Blaszczak went on to say.

He said Poland had already made important steps to boost its defence, including the passage of a new homeland defence law and bolstering its armed forces.

The Polish Armed Forces' strength is meant to deter the aggressor, meaning Russia, according to Blaszczak.

There is good news because other Nato member states are trying to increase defence spending and their activity to deter the aggressor, the minister said.

The two-day meeting that ended on Thursday included Nato's support for Ukraine and Georgia, Sweden and Finland's bid to join the bloc, according to Blaszczak.

Poland has announced a plan to increase the size of its armed forces from just over 110,000 professional soldiers and 32,000 territorial defence members to 300,000 troops, including 250,000 professional soldiers.

According to Jens Stoltenberg, Nato secretary general, said after the meeting that the ministers had discussed the strengthening of Nato battle groups on the bloc's eastern flank, including increased air, naval and cyber defence.