Back to top
Submitted by JP on Mon, 01/16/2023 - 16:03
Military fit for the 21st century? How the war in Ukraine changed the pace of modernization of the armed forces in Poland and Hungary

– Never before in the history of Poland has such large funds been provided for the modernization of the army, emphasized Deputy Minister of Defense Michał Wiśniewski, pointing out that a record amount of PLN 524 billion was allocated for the modernization of the Polish army. The deputy head of the Ministry of National Defense declared the readiness of the Polish government to cooperate with foreign partners. - For Hungarians, an inspiring example is, among others, the development of the Territorial Defense Forces - noted the Hungarian Ambassador to Poland Orsolya Zsuzsanna Kovács during the conference held on Monday, January 16, organized in Warsaw under the slogan "Similarities, differences and opportunities for cooperation in the field of military development in Hungary and Poland.

Photo by JAP

- It is a great honor for me that we can meet today, talking about very serious topics, because regardless of whether we live in the era of presidents or kings, princes or chieftains, security is what creates the conditions for development, personal careers, as well as to the lives of families and nations, noted the director of the Institute of Polish-Hungarian Cooperation, Maciej Szymanowski.

Common interests

- If we are talking about the essence of Polish-Hungarian relations, it is worth recalling the words that were uttered when in 1848-1849 over two thousand Polish legionnaires fought for the freedom of Hungarians. When one of them was asked what is most important in Polish-Hungarian relations, he replied briefly: love and business. Love does not need to be able to explain to the end why we have this feeling. Let's appreciate that this is just the way it is and let's cherish this love. And when it comes to interest, it is enough to look at the map of Central Europe and the history of Poland and Hungary. It immediately shows that we share common interests and we should just stick together. Today we will talk about business, and especially about joint arms businesses, said the Hungarian Ambassador to Poland Orsolya Zsuzsanna Kovács, adding that for Hungarians dealing with defense issues, since 2016, the excellent example to follow are the Territorial Defense Forces (WOT).

Fot. JAP

Poland's defense spending: minimum 3% of GDP 

“Never before in the history of Poland has such large funds been provided for the modernization of the army,” emphasized Deputy Minister of Defense Michał Wiśniewski during the lecture, explaining how the geopolitical situation, and especially the armed Russian aggression against Ukraine that began in 2014, affects the development and modernization of the Polish Army. - The security situation deteriorated dramatically in February 2022, when Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, leading to an armed conflict of the nature of a full-scale regular war, unprecedented since the end of World War II - noted the deputy head of the Ministry of National Defense. Minister Michał Wiśniewski pointed out that the aggressive actions of the Russians resulted in the need to take additional and urgent measures aimed at strengthening the potential of the Polish armed forces. Thanks to significant legislative and legal changes, it was possible to streamline procedures and, consequently, to accelerate the delivery of modern military equipment acquired. As part of these activities, the Technical Modernization Council was established as an advisory body to the head of the Ministry of National Defence. The Armament Agency was also established, which is responsible, among others, for for defining requirements for military equipment, acquiring military equipment and services, and also implements offset projects and manages intellectual property rights.

The deputy head of the Ministry of National Defense also drew attention to the Homeland Defense Act, which obliged the government to establish packages to strengthen the armed forces for the years 2023-2025 in terms of their modernization and equipment. This act also provides for an increase in defense spending from 2023 to a minimum of 3% of GDP. A special fund to support the armed forces was also established at Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, which additionally increases the sources of financing for large-scale modernization of the armed forces.

Photo by JAP

The conference was organized by the the Wacław Felczak Institute of Polish-Hungarian Cooperation in Warsaw and Mathias Corvinus Collegium in Budapest.