“Poland’s defence minister has told Sky News his country is facing its greatest security crisis since the end of the Cold War,” the news agency reports.
Speaking from the ministry of defence in Warsaw, Tomasz Siemoniak said they must be prepared for the situation to deteriorate further, and for Russia to expand its ambitions beyond the annexation of Crimea, Katie Stallard, Sky News Russia Correspondent reported from Warsaw.
“We can see that Russia is going in the direction of restoring the influence it had at the time of the Soviet Union,” Siemoniak said.
“If that is the case then the situation is not over by any means with Crimea and it will move on to the territories of other countries, that will either be targeted by aggression or by some other measures taken by the Russian federation, so we have to be ready.”
“Poland has responded to Russia’s belligerence by raising its defence budget by 18 per cent, achieving the biggest increase in military spending of any country in Europe (…) Haunted by memories of Soviet invasion, Poland is set to join the handful of Nato members which meet the alliance’s target of investing at least 2 per cent of national income in defence,” The New Indian Express reported.
Currently Poland is undertaking an ambitious rearmament programme, attempting to overhaul its dependence on ageing Soviet-era equipment by 2022.
Also the Polish military base which has been NATO’s easternmost headquarters for over a decade is set to double in size, becoming the focal point for the alliance’s eastern defenses.
The base, which is located in Szczecin, officially became part of the new NATO communication structure yesterday which was agreed earlier this year. Recruitment will now begin to double its permanent staff from 200 to 400 servicemen from up to 20 countries in the alliance, according to Polish news agency Wiadomości, Newsweek reported.
On June 3rd, EMerging Equity asked general Stanislaw Koziej, the Head of the National Security Bureau of Poland, about the main directions of the Polish Armed Forces modernization. General Koziej indicated the following areas as good priorities of the modernization:
- anti-air defence missile systems
- military transport helicopters supporting mobility
- computerized combat/battle systems