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New NATO Chief Praises Poland’s 2% GDP Uptick in Defense Spending

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New NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has thanked Poland for boosting its defense spending, a RIA Novosti correspondent said Monday.

WARSAW, October 6 (RIA Novosti) - New NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has thanked Poland for boosting its defense spending, a RIA Novosti correspondent said Monday.

Speaking at a joint press meeting in Warsaw, Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz said that her government gave priority to matters of defense. Kopacz pledged to increase the defense spending by 2 percent of the country’s GDP, adding the expenses had already been budgeted.

Jens Stoltenberg, who is in Poland on his first foreign visit since he stepped in last week, praised Poland’s resolve to make a bigger contribution to the US-led military alliance, saying it was a good example for the rest of the 28-member bloc to follow.

Later in the day, Stoltenberg is to meet Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak, and Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna. He will also travel to NATO’s Lask air base.

All NATO member countries are to make contributions to the costs of running the NATO bloc, which amount to up to 2 percent of each member’s overall defense budget.

Last month, the then secretary general of the alliance, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, stressed that NATO member-countries should increase rather than reduce their military spending “at times of unstable peace” and demanded that they spend no less that 2 percent of their GDPs on military requirements.

Up until now, only the United States, Britain and Estonia have been able to meet this requirement.

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