Poland a leader among Nato members in defence spending says president
With this year's defence spending at 3.9 percent of GDP, Poland is in the lead in Nato, Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, said on the eve of a Nato summit.
"Poland's budget spending for this year practically amounts to 3.9 percent of our GDP," Duda told reporters after a Monday meeting with Polish Army commanders and Defence Ministry managerial staff, with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak in attendance.
Duda said that the meeting covered all the subjects which would be in the focus of the Tuesday-Wednesday Nato summit in Vilnius.
The president recalled that in connection with the relocation of Russia's tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, he had sent, along with his counterparts from Lithuania and Latvia, a letter to the Nato secretary general asking him to include this topic in the summit's agenda.
Referring to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the president said that the need to strengthen Eastern Europe was another subject of Monday's debate.
"Of course, we talked about the necessity to strengthen our part of Europe, about regional plans which should be made, and about a possible Nato response," Duda said.
The president expressed hope that the decisions which had been taken during the Nato summit in Madrid last year would be implemented more effectively.
"The readiness of Nato forces must increase, several hundred Nato soldiers must be immediately ready to be transferred to the region of a potential conflict, if there is any serious threat to any part of Nato," Duda said, adding that, today, this chiefly concerned the alliance's eastern flank.
The president also said that he really wanted the Nato summit in Vilnius "to take a clear decision regarding the prospect of Ukraine's alliance membership."
The summit will start its two-day debates in the Lithuanian capital on Tuesday. President Duda and Minister Błaszczak will be representing Poland at the Nato meeting.