WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s president on Monday called on other members of the NATO alliance to raise their spending on defense to 3% of their gross domestic product as Russia puts its economy on a war footing and pushes forward with its invasion of Ukraine.

President Andrzej Duda made his call both in remarks in Warsaw and in a piece published by The Washington Post. His appeal came on the eve of a visit to the White House, where U.S. President Joe Biden will receive both him and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Tuesday.

“Russia’s imperialistic ambitions and aggressive revisionism are pushing Moscow toward a direct confrontation with NATO, with the West and, ultimately, with the whole free world,” Duda said in the op-ed.

NATO members agreed in 2014 to boost their defense spending to 2% of GDP after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, but most members, including Germany, still fall short of that benchmark.

Poland, however, now spends 4% of its GDP on defense, making it the member to spend the most in percentage terms as it modernizes its military, while the U.S. is well above 3%.

Duda said that puts the United States and Poland in a position to “lead by example and provide an inspiration for others.”

“The Russian Federation has switched its economy to war mode. It is allocating close to 30 percent of its annual budget to arm itself,” Duda argued. “This figure and other data coming out of Russia are alarming. Vladimir Putin’s regime poses the biggest threat to global peace since the end of the Cold War.”

Duda will visit Brussels for a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg after his visit to the U.S.

Brought to you by www.srnnews.com