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US to loan Poland $2 billion for military modernization

GreenWatch Desk World News 2023-09-26, 9:51am


The United States has offered Poland a direct loan of $2 billion (€1.89 billion) to support the modernization of its NATO ally's military forces.

"Poland is a stalwart US Ally, and Poland's security is vital to the collective defense of NATO's Eastern Flank," the US State Department said in a statement on Monday.

Poland shares a long border with Belarus — a key Russian ally — which has been a source of heated tension at the edge of both the EU and NATO.

"In addition to its central support role in facilitating international assistance to neighboring Ukraine, Poland has demonstrated its ironclad commitment to strengthening regional security through its robust investments in defense spending," the US State Department added.

Poland to increase defense spending
Beyond Warsaw's issues with Minsk, the NATO member was an early supporter of arming Ukraine against the Russian invasion and has provided the war-torn country with a large number of tanks, fighter jets and other equipment.
But amid Russia's aggression, Warsaw is seeking to bolster its defense capabilities.

To replace the largely Soviet-era equipment that it handed over, Poland is now looking for state-of-the-art military technology from US and South Korean defense companies.

The Biden administration is also providing Warsaw up to $60 million for the cost of the loan in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) which would support "urgent procurements of defense articles and services from the United States," the State Department said.

Poland is aiming to spend 4% of its economic output on defense this year — twice the mark set by the Western defense alliance.

Polish support for Ukraine in question
Despite Warsaw's early staunch support for Kyiv, a recent spat over Ukrainian grain being brought onto the Polish market led Prime Minister Mateus Morawiecki to proclaim that Poland would no longer be providing Ukraine with weapons.

Experts have pointed out that this is likely pre-election rhetoric from the right-wing populist ruling party since Poland has already given almost everything it can give.

The US has tried to play down the incident, highlighting Poland's interest in a Ukrainian victory over Russia, amid concerns that Western support may be starting to wane as the war goes on with little end in sight, reports DW.