Poland in effort to boost army to counter Russian threat: PM

The Polish prime minister has said his country has made „an enormous effort” in recent years to strengthen and modernise its armed forces to counter a threat from Russia.

Mateusz Morawiecki.

Mateusz Morawiecki.PAP/Tomasz Waszczuk

Mateusz Morawiecki made the remark at a ceremony to hand over the first batch of South Korean-made K2 Black Panther tanks to the Polish army, state news agency PAP reported. 

Threat from Russia

Morawiecki told the gathering in the northern town of Morąg on Friday: “All of Russia’s neighbours realise what threat comes from having such a neighbour. So in the past few years, we have made an enormous effort to strengthen and modernise the Polish army.” 

He added: “We can put it this way: either you have the means to defend yourself and then you don’t have to, or you don’t have the means to defend yourself and then you have to defend yourself.”

’So strong that nobody even considers attacking us’

Morawiecki, who was accompanied in Morąg by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, said the government sought to make the Polish army “so strong, so well modernised with advanced equipment, that nobody even considers attacking us.”

He added that “Poland is safe, but we must reinforce our army month after month – and this is happening.”

Cooperation with South Korea 'brings multiple benefits’

The prime minister praised military cooperation with South Korea, stressing that “it brings multiple benefits.”

He described South Korean weapons as “compatible with NATO systems, reasonably priced and state-of-the-art.”

Moreover, the K2 Black Panther tanks will be partly produced in Poland, which means Polish arms makers will receive the know-how, Morawiecki said.   

Earlier this week, President Andrzej Duda said that the South Korean K2 tanks had been bought as part of a wider effort to expand Poland’s armed forces on the basis of a homeland defence law adopted in the spring.        

“To stop the foe, the army must possess modern equipment,” the president added.

Poland has so far agreed to buy a total of 180 K2 tanks from South Korean arms maker Hyundai Rotem in a deal worth USD 3.37 billion. They are due to be delivered between 2022 and 2025, according to officials.


Source: PAPportalsamorzadowy.pl 

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