Polish tanks take part in a military parade in Warsaw marking Polish Army Day. Poland plans a record defense budget for 2014. (Agence France-Presse)
WARSAW — Poland’s Ministry of Defense is aiming to spend 32 billion zloty (US $10.4 billion) in 2014, an increase of about 2 percent over last year’s initial defense budget. The budget is the highest in the ministry’s history.
For 2014, the Polish ministry has earmarked 8.16 billion zloty ($2.5 billion) for capital expenditures. To secure funds for purchases of priority weapons and military equipment, the ministry has decided to create a special reserve of 3.48 billion zloty ($1.07 billion), which will be used for direct funding of 14 acquisition programs this year.
By 2022, some 91.5 billion zloty ($28.1 billion) will be set aside for the key armament programs, including new helicopters, air and anti-missile defense systems, vessels, submarines, UAVs and other types of armament. The funds, which will not be spent on the programs this year, will be added to the reserve for the next year, ensuring that the programs are not scrapped due to potential austerity measures.
With the increased defense budget this year, the Polish government aims to comply with a bill that requires it to earmark 1.95 percent of Poland’s gross domestic product for military spending.