Polish President Andrzej Duda is planning to announce an increase in the country’s military spending during the upcoming NATO summit in Brussels, Polish media reported. However, according to political expert Yuri Borisenok, other NATO countries are unlikely to follow the Polish example.
“I don’t think that anyone will follow this example. It will be quite difficult for the Baltic countries to find additional funds in their small budgets. And certainly it won’t be possible for such new NATO members as Romania and Bulgaria. They joined the European Union later than Poland, it will be more difficult for them to do so, since their economy is completely weak,” the expert said.
In an interview with a Polish press agency, the head of Poland’s National Security Bureau, Pavel Solokh, said that Poland is planning to increase its military spending to ensure the security of its eastern flank. He also noted that “Poland is even ready to exceed the 2 percent of GDP officially prescribed by NATO and eventually increase the costs up to 2.5 percent.”
According to Borisenok, with this move the Polish authorities are seeking to attract favorable attention from Washington.
“Donald Trump slammed his NATO allies for not bringing their military spending to 2 percent and here we are talking about the whole 2.5 percent. I think the goal is to improve relations with Washington in order to attract its high priority attention,” Borisenok said.
Borisenok also stressed that other countries are unlikely to follow suit. Even large European economies will bring its military spending to a maximum of 2 percent, or rather further refrain from doing so.
For instance, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said he knows of no politicians in his country that see defense spending going up to 2 percent of GDP as either possible or desirable.
The issue of the contributions to the alliance has been raised repeatedly by the new US administration, insisting on all countries honoring their NATO budget responsibilities.
The 2 percent of GDP spending target mandated by NATO was adopted at the alliance’s September 2014 Summit in Wales, with only five countries, including the United States, meeting the required standard, according to NATO figures.