In the face of threats from the east, Poland increases its

The Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki. Photo source: Polsat News / PAP / Marcin Obara.

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According to the draft budget for 2023, adopted by the Warsaw Executive on Tuesday, Poland will more than double its defense spending next year, up to 138 billion zlotys (about 29 billion euros), increasing its efforts to strengthening of national defense and security in the context of the war started by Russia in neighboring Ukraine, the Polish press announces, quoted by Bloomberg.

Operational spending for the military is expected to rise to 98 billion zlotys from 58 billion zlotys this year, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a news conference where he laid out the foundations on which the 2023 budget was built. In addition to these allocations, the government plans to spend up to 40 billion zlotys on arms purchases from abroad, he added.

“We have the ability to strengthen our army significantly and recruit new soldiers,” Morawiecki told reporters, citing concerns about the war in Ukraine among Polish citizens.

According to previously presented plans, Poland plans to recruit more than 20,000 new soldiers in 2023.

Poland, a NATO member since 1999, has pledged to increase its military spending to 3% of GDP next year. In recent months, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Warsaw has shown increased interest in military procurement. Just last week, the Polish state signed a $5.8 billion deal with South Korea for the purchase of tanks and artillery pieces.

The planned increases in military spending come at a particularly difficult time for Poland, which has received and continues to host more than 2 million Ukrainian refugees since the conflict began.

Looking at the synthetic budget data for 2023, Warsaw expects an economic deceleration compared to this year, to +1.7%, from the +4.6% it anticipates in 2022. For next year, average inflation is forecast to stands at 9.8%.

Still, Morawiecki insisted the budget remains in good shape. The overall fiscal deficit is expected to reach 4.2%-4.4% of GDP next year, he said.