By Ahmet Gencturk
ANKARA (AA) – Poland's president said on Thursday that he is ready to rebuild a new "iron curtain" to keep Russia away, the state media reported.
"I am prepared for the iron curtain to be rebuilt, if I have to deal with an aggressive state across the eastern border that wants to kill its neighbors, take their lands and take their freedom," Andrzej Duda told reporters in Latvia's capital Riga where he held talks with his Latvian counterpart Egils Levits.
He emphasized that Poland would make every effort to prevent a war in Europe and thus is improving its military deterrent capabilities.
"Today the real goal of the Russian leaders, and most of all Vladimir Putin is to reinstate the Tsarist empire. We are against this war and will do everything to keep it away from our doorsteps,” Duda said, as reported by Polish Press Agency.
He also claimed that Russia's war on Ukraine has caused significant changes in the way many people view the world, particularly regarding security and the future.
On Monday, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that Polish plans to raise its defense spending to 4% of its gross domestic product this year.
Poland in recent years has signed a series of arms deals to boost its defense capabilities, including procurement of self-propelled howitzers, tanks, advanced rocket systems, warplanes from the US and South Korea, and TB-2 Bayraktar drones from Türkiye.
Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak recently said that Warsaw’s target is to increase the number of soldiers in the Polish armed forces to 300,000 – 250,000 professional soldiers and 50,000 Territorial Defense Force (WOT) volunteers.
Poland now has about 36,000 WOT troops and around 128,000 soldiers of various formations.
France today has the biggest EU army, with about 200,000 soldiers on active duty.