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Defence Policy

Head of the Polish Ministry of Defence: Korean Contracts to Be Kept Alive, and Their Conditions - Discussed

Polish K2 MBTs
Photo. Jarosław Ciślak/Defence24

Contracts signed, regarding the equipment from South Korea need to be, generally, kept alive, however, some conditions proposed in the framework agreements, need to be discussed, Head of the Polish Ministry of Defence, Deputy PM Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz said. He also declared that Poland would continue supporting Ukraine. The head of the MoD added that establishing an Unmanned Systems branch, following the path taken by Ukraine, is certainly a viable direction, and one of the key matters to be addressed during the current term of office.

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“I am for keeping all contracts alive, all that are needed and possible [to be kept alive], generally, yes”, said the Head of the MoD, speaking to Radio Zet. He noted that he had been a proponent of continuity even before the election. He said that “errors made by our predecessors cannot be repeated”, recalling how PiS terminated the H225M Caracal helicopter procurement agreement, back in 2016.

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Kosiniak-Kamysz noted that deliveries resulting on the grounds of performance contracts are progressing well, and the equipment is being delivered, but “not everything is ready for this equipment”, when it comes to the logistics, while the framework contracts are being discussed.

“The offer that was partially proposed by the Koreans, including co-financing, or loans, is unacceptable, it is too poor. It is not attractive enough for us to accept, but talks are underway. That offer, as the analysis shows, is completely unacceptable”, he said, informing that Vice-Minister Paweł Bejda would meet the Koreans on Wednesday.

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He reiterated that enhancement of the individual kit, and IAMD are among priorities, along with investment in the domain of unmanned platforms. Kosiniak-Kamysz stated that placing the drones and unmanned platforms in the hands of a separate branch of the Armed Forces is a viable direction. Minister said that this “will be one of the strategic issues during this term of office, with me being the Minister of Defence”.

Piotr Wojciechowski – President of the Management Board at the WB Group, the biggest manufacturer of combat-proven unmanned systems in Poland, said a few words on the matter. “As a representative of the biggest Polish manufacturer of combat-proven unmanned systems, I fully endorse the Minister of Defence, when it comes to establishing a new branch of the Armed Forces. The emergence of the Unmanned Systems Forces is necessary for further development, manufacturing, and commissioning of unmanned technologies in the Polish Armed Forces. It becomes almost critical, to ensure Polish security in the future”, he said.

According to the Head of the Polish Ministry of Defence, the conscription can remain suspended, as the Ministry hopes to attract volunteers who would be interested in general voluntary military service. He declared Poland would be still transferring military equipment to Ukraine.

The Deputy PM claimed that the recent mass Russian strikes against Ukraine have been a sign of the Russian recovery. He noted that Europe, as a whole, is becoming increasingly more aware of the threat posed by Moscow - and this is also the message that is conveyed by the Polish government officials, during international meetings. “There is a shift of awareness in Europe, and we stimulate that awareness. Our diplomatic offensive is underway. We encourage a coalition for transferring equipment to Ukraine to be formed, we are driven to establish an aid fund for Ukraine at a European level, to inspire the defence industry”, he said.

“I think that the European Union should focus all of its efforts today, on security matters”, Kosiniak-Kamysz said. He expressed a belief that the European Commission’s recommended CO2 reduction of 90% by 2040, as opposed to 1990, is an unachievable objective. He noted that he is not an opponent of climate policy. “I would postpone such matters. These days, security is the most important one. We need to focus on other issues, wake the defense industry up”, he said.

He considered the adoption of the Act on Civil Defence to be an urgent matter in the realm of domestic policy. Kosiniak-Kamysz noted that the previous civil defence regulations were somewhat canceled by the Act on Homeland Defence, the authors of which did not create any new civil defence law. He noted that a new bill would be presented soon - it is in the works now, at the Ministry of Interior and Administration. „We are supporting that”, said Kosiniak-Kamysz. He added that the new regulations assume that the government would be working hand-in-hand with the local authorities. “I believe, training on rescue operations should be organized. The first aid needs to be introduced as early as in kindergarten”, he added.

“No national defence exists, without social involvement. In the event of any conflict, alliances and the army are very important, but what is the most important is the community, and the well-prepared society”. He noted that training that shall get all social groups involved is needed, not just in the event of a war, but also during natural disasters.

Asked about the future of the Polish CPK (Central Communications Port) project he responded that any decision should be made based on the comprehensive report that is being prepared by the government’s plenipotentiary, Maciej Lasek. Decisions also need to be made, taking into account the citizens of towns nearby, who have been suffering for years. Modernization of railways was considered to be critical by Kosiniak-Kamysz, especially concerning routes between Powiat (District), and Voivodeship capital cities.

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