Poland’s Kaczynski raises the German threat
« I don’t know if Germany wants to arm itself against Russia or against us, » said Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Poland’s deputy prime minister and leader of his ruling party, suggested on Wednesday that Germany’s remilitarization could threaten his country as well as Russia. Kaczynski, one of Europe’s most anti-Moscow officials, nonetheless celebrated Germany’s overthrow of decades of pacifism.
« When we said we were going to seriously arm ourselves, the Germans immediately announced that they would too. » Kaczyinski, who leads Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, told his supporters during a speech on Wednesday.
« If the Germans want to arm themselves against Russia or against us, I don’t know, but at least they are arming themselves », he added.
Kaczynski did not elaborate on the supposed threat posed to Poland by Germany, and the two NATO allies have not been at war since the Nazi invasion in 1939. However, the PiS chief told his supporters that the Poles had to « to arm oneself » strengthen the country’s deterrence beyond that provided by the US-led military bloc.
Kaczynski pointed to Poland’s decision to buy hundreds of American-made HIMARS rocket artillery systems — an order that could cost more than $2.5 billion — as evidence of Warsaw’s commitment to strengthen its armed forces. Since Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in February, the Polish government has also increased military spending from 2% of GDP in 2022 to 3% in 2023, and has requested « permanent » NATO bases and new US missile batteries.
Germany also took the opportunity to reorganize its army. After decades of neglect that deprived the Bundeswehr of working planes, vehicles and even boots and bedding, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced in late February that he would spend $113 billion to acquire new US weapons. and Israelis and would increase defense spending to more than 2% of GDP. .
While Kaczynski hailed this militarization, he warned that the current conflict in Ukraine « will spread » and added that Poland was doing « everything so that it doesn’t happen » However, he has made numerous escalating statements since the outbreak of hostilities, including demanding more NATO troops in Eastern Europe, calling for international troops on Ukrainian soil and declaring his country’s desire to welcome US nuclear weapons.
This last proposal met « deep concern » by Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in April.