WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Poland will invest more than $40 billion to upgrade its armed forces by 2022, Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak stated at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.
“In 2022, in total we will have spent over $40 billion on modernization,” Siemoniak said on Tuesday. “That means we are spending today on defense more than all other countries that joined NATO after 1999 together.”
Siemoniak said Poland is investing in new helicopters, missile and air defense systems, modern artillery, army mobility, navy modernization and communications and command systems.
“Our defense budget will go above the level of two percent [of] GDP this according to the legislation. From next year on, two percent defense budget as a measure of GDP will be guaranteed,” he added.
Siemoniak is visiting Washington, DC, where he met with US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to discuss US-Poland bilateral and NATO cooperation.
Over the past year, Poland has stepped up joint military exercises with NATO as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve — a series of drills demonstrating Washington's commitment to European security.
Moscow has criticized NATO's growing presence in Eastern Europe along Russia’s borders, warning it is increasing regional tensions.