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US provides Poland with $2 billion for financing of F-35s, Patriots, Abrams

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk July 9, 2024 10:25 AM 2 min read
Pol installing concertina wire at Poland's border with Russian exclave Kaliningrad on November 14, 2022 in Goldap, Poland. The project comes after Moscow's aviation authority started to launch flights from the Middle East and North Africa to Kaliningrad, according to Poland's Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak. (Photo by Paulius Peleckis/Getty Images)
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The U.S. will provide Poland with a second $2 billion Foreign Military Financing loan to purchase defense equipment from the U.S., the State Department announced on July 8.

The financing will "further strengthen NATO's Eastern Flank" and assist Poland as it undertakes a "major military modernization program," the U.S. State Department said.

The financing will cover purchases of U.S. equipment like F-35 aircraft, Patriot systems, and Abrams main battle tanks.

The U.S. will provide up to $60 million to subsidize the interest rate costs arising from the loan, "which will help accelerate Poland's defense modernization by supporting urgent procurements" of American equipment and services, the State Department added.

The State Department highlighted that Warsaw currently spends 4% of GDP on defense, the highest of all NATO member states, and that Poland "hosts thousands of U.S.  and Allied forces."

NATO has a guideline that alliance members should spend at least 2% of GDP on defense. More than 20 NATO member states will hit or surpass the bloc's target of allocating at least 2% of GDP this year, up from less than 10 states five years ago.

Poland borders Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad to its east.

The Suwalki Gap, a 65-kilometer (40-mile) strip of land on the Polish-Lithuanian border between Belarus and Kaliningrad, has long been considered the site of a potential flashpoint of military conflict between Russia and NATO.

Tensions in the Suwalki Gap area have risen since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, prompting NATO forces to conduct regular military exercises and improve their collective defensive capabilities.

Poland, Ukraine sign security agreement
President Volodymyr Zelensky added that the security agreement includes a provision to develop “a mechanism” for intercepting Russian missiles and drones in Ukraine’s airspace aimed at Poland.

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