Poland building Europe's strongest army says minister

Przemysław Piątkowski/PAP

Poland is constructing the strongest army in Europe, Poland's defence minister said in an interview published on Monday for the weekly Sieci.

Mariusz Blaszczak said plans included increasing the army's size to at least 300,000 soldiers, supported by a 50,000-strong territorial defence force. He added that the army will be equipped with modern combat systems and weapons, including 366 US Abrams tanks and 1,000 South-Korean K2 tanks.

"This will be the strongest land force in Europe. Well-manned and equipped with modern weaponry, an active Nato force... which will also work together with the powerful US forces stationed in Poland," Blaszczak told Sieci.

Blaszczak said the Polish Army numbered 164,000, with a record 13,742 joining last year, the highest enrolment figure since Poland abolished conscription in 2008.

Poland had to modernise its army owing to Russia's war against Ukraine, the minister added, while warning that if Russia succeeded in Ukraine, it would probably seek to attack other countries. Therefore, he said, the Polish Army "must be able to deter any potential aggressor, so that not even one strip of Polish territory comes under (foreign - PAP) occupation."

"No one will come to our aid on a larger scale if we're unable to defend ourselves," Blaszczak said.