NATO member Poland displayed its state-of-the-art weapons and defence systems at a massive military parade, as war rages in neighbouring Ukraine and ahead of parliamentary elections in two months.
Chief Commander of the Armed Forces, President Andrzej Duda, said in his opening speech that the protection of Poland’s eastern border is a key element of state policy, noting that Poland is supporting Ukraine in its struggle against Russia’s aggression of almost 18 months.
Duda added that the defence of the eastern border, the border of the European Union and of NATO is today a key element of Poland’s state interest, stressing that Poland’s defence budget this year will be a record 34 billion Dollars or some 4% of the gross domestic product, the highest proportion in all of NATO.
The parade was held in Poland’s capital, which was vastly destroyed during World War II, on the anniversary of the 1920 Battle of Warsaw, in which Polish troops defeated Bolshevik forces advancing on Europe.
Poland is building one of Europe’s strongest armies to beef up deterrence against potential aggressors and has increased the number of troops to some 10,000 along its border with Belarus, where it has also built a wall to stop migrants arriving from that direction.