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Poland Expands Defense Budget as Russo-Ukrainian Conflict Rages

Darren Maung
Darren is an aspiring writer who wishes to share or create stories to the world and bring humanity together as one. A massive Star Wars nerd and history buff, he finds enjoyable, heart-warming or interesting subjects in any written media.
Published: February 2, 2023
A line of South Korean artillery arrived in Poland on Dec. 6, 2022, as part of cooperation between the two countries. More than a month later, Warsaw plans to increase its military spending tenfold. (Image: Mateusz Slodkowski via Getty Images)

On. Jan. 30, the Polish government announced that it would boost its defense budget following Russia’s ongoing offensive in Ukraine. 

This could give Poland the largest army in the European Union (EU), with its spending rivaling that of the United States. 

Defensive buildup

According to the BBC, Poland currently has a military budget of less than 2.5 percent of their GDP. However, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced his intention to increase the budget to four percent of GDP this year.

“The war in Ukraine makes us arm ourselves even faster. That is why, this year, we will make an unprecedented effort: [four percent] of GDP for the Polish army,” Morawiecki told reporters. 

The Prime Minister said that the increase in the budget “might mean that this will be the highest percentage… among all NATO countries.”

Warsaw also intends to spend $100 billion on its military, already purchasing tanks and artillery from the U.S. and South Korea for $10 billion, the Anadolu Agency reported.


Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said that the government is trying to bolster its manpower by increasing the number of its soldiers in the armed forces to 300,000, Krakow-based news outlet Notes from Poland wrote. Around 14,000 new recruits already entered service last year; the highest count since 2008.

In addition to infantry, Poland already bought several tanks and howitzers from Seoul, planning to purchase additional K2 “Black Panther” tanks made by Hyundai Rotem. Eight hundred of the K2PL variant of the tank will be under production in Poland in 2026,  DW reported.

Warsaw also said that it would buy 116 Abrams tanks from the U.S., expecting the first deliveries to begin this spring.

Poland also requested that Germany export its Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine, with the armed forces trying “to get training time” on the tanks down to five weeks at an undisclosed training center, Reuters reported.

In the same cooperation with South Korea, Warsaw will also acquire 48 FA-50 fighter jets to be added into its aerial arsenal of U.S.-made jets.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine sent shockwaves throughout many Western countries and prompted them to reassess their military budgets. Other members of NATO are expected to only invest  two percent of GDP on defense by 2024, with the U.S. only spending 3.47 percent ($822 billion) on their defense. 

France has laid out plans to boost its own military spending for its armed forces, planning to increase its budget to 413 billion euros ($451 billion) in the next seven years. 

Sweden and Finland also intend to increase their budgets as they attempt to join NATO

Germany vowed to spend 100 billion euros ($109 billion), while the UK — under former Prime Minister Boris Jonhson — wanted to increase the country’s military budget to 2.5 percent of GDP.

Greece is so far the largest spender of any NATO ally, with spending at 3.76 percent of GDP, DW reported.