Polish Government Opposes 3% GDP Spending Obligation for NATO

The head of Polish diplomacy, Radoslav Sikorski, said that the Polish government is skeptical of the proposal of Polish President Andrzej Duda to increase the obligation of all NATO members to spend on defense to three percent of GDP

by Sededin Dedovic
Polish Government Opposes 3% GDP Spending Obligation for NATO
© Sean Gallup / Getty Images

The Polish Foreign Minister, Radosław Sikorski, stated that the Polish government is skeptical about the proposal of Polish President Andrzej Duda to increase the defense spending obligation for all NATO members to three percent of GDP.

He explained that this skepticism stems from the potential reduction in the number of countries the United States would be willing to defend, especially after any changes in the White House. "Donald Trump reiterates that he will not defend countries that allocate little for defense.

This would drastically reduce the group of countries needing defense," Sikorski told Polish Radio. The Polish Foreign Minister cautioned that President Duda did not consult with the government, which is responsible for foreign policy.

Duda proposed at a summit in Washington this summer to raise the minimum spending requirement from two to three percent of GDP. Currently, only the United States, Poland, and Greece meet this obligation, with 20 out of 32 Western military alliance members expected to meet the existing two percent target this year.

"I am skeptical about such exaggerated expectations. Instead of declaring the summit a success, having achieved the majority of goals agreed upon in Newport, we risk condemning ourselves to failure. And why?," Sikorski questioned on Polish public radio.

During his weekend visit to Washington, where he met with close associates of former U.S. President Trump, Sikorski rejected Trump's concept of "two-speed NATO" in an interview with the Polish private television Polsat. This concept implies that countries not contributing enough to defense would not have the right to collective defense under Article 5 of the NATO agreement.

"I disagree with such an idea. A military alliance is not a security firm you hire somewhere in the neighborhood; it doesn't work that way. Article 5 was invoked only once to aid the U.S. after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The alliance is not charity for Europeans. It also benefits the U.S.," Sikorski emphasized. In addition to statements to Polish media, Sikorski, appearing on FOX News, warned that European countries were providing $120 billion in aid to Ukraine, while the U.S.

had only recently matched them with approved assistance.

Radoslav Sikorski© Sean Gallup / Getty Images

"Now, U.S. and European contributions are more or less equal. European countries are providing $120 billion in aid to Ukraine.

I just hope American weapons quickly reach the front lines to help Ukrainian heroes defend their homeland," Sikorski stated. Regarding whether Poland would send troops to Ukraine or discussions about previous Polish government attempts, and current President Duda's efforts to persuade the U.S.

to include Poland in the Nuclear Sharing program and deploy nuclear weapons on its territory, Sikorski refrained from commenting directly. "The less we talk about it, the better," Sikorski told Polish radio about the potential deployment of nuclear-tipped missiles, a proposal rejected by both the U.S.

and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who denied any such plans. In an interview with the British BBC, Sikorski reiterated that Poland and its allies have no intention of revealing their cards and that it's time for Russian President Vladimir Putin to consider what they are preparing and what they can do.

The proposal by Polish President Andrzej Duda to deploy American nuclear weapons on Polish soil under the "Nuclear Sharing" program did not garner support, as only 36.4 percent of respondents supported the opposition's old initiative, the Law and Justice party.

In a poll for the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, 36.4 percent of respondents supported the deployment of nuclear weapons, 31.9 percent opposed it, 19 percent were undecided, and a significant 12.6 percent hadn't heard of such an idea.

The idea for official Warsaw to join the "Nuclear Sharing" program, under which U.S. nuclear missiles are deployed in several European countries but can only be used for collective defense and with U.S. permission, came from the leader of the Law and Justice party, former Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński, reasoning that Poland cannot rely on acquiring such weapons alone.

While President Duda, also from the Law and Justice party, mentioned the need for nuclear weapons on Polish soil several times this spring, Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski cautioned that such a demand must come from the government and it did not authorize or encourage him to speak publicly about it, especially not without its approval.

"At the highest levels, and not Polish, it has been made clear to the President that there is currently no chance for that. I don't know why he talked about it. The President implements the government's foreign policy. We did not give him authorization or encourage him to speak publicly about it.

But we already have a Russian response, clear, that any such depot would be a target for attack," Sikorski said in an interview with Polish television Polsat.