The Polish Defense Ministry in the coming years is planning for annual missile defense expenditures of between close to $283 million and over $502 million, according to an article in last week's Rzeczpospolita.
Polish head of the National Security Office Gen. Stanislaw Koziej said the antimissile outlays would begin in 2014 and were necessary as the army at present had no defense against missile strikes. "It is not a whim or a sign of megalomania. Simply put, no other military modernization efforts makes sense without an effective shield against tactical, cruise, and ballistic missiles."
Government financing for antimissile projects will come through a specific set-aside from any unallocated funds in each year's military budget.
More information on specific antimissile goals will be forthcoming next year, according to the article. The envisioned missile defenses would be coordinated with an evolving NATO missile shield while still maintaining Polish independence over operations.
Around 2018-2020, Poland is to begin hosting next-generation U.S. missile interceptors that are intended to have the capability to destroy intermediate-range ballistic missiles and possibly ICBMs. The interceptors will form a crucial element of NATO's missile defense network.
Russia opposes the Western military alliance's plans for European missile defense, seeing in them -- particularly the interceptors planned for fielding in Poland -- a serious threat to its own long-range nuclear missiles.
The Russian military has warned of serious repercussions should Washington and Brussels proceed with implementing their missile defense plans absent an accord with Moscow that governs the interceptors usage.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said prospects are low over the short-term for reaching a compromise on missile defense, RIA Novosti reported. "The key is in our dialogue with the USA, where, I repeat, we see no movement forward," he said in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
"One would not like for the situation to freeze as it is without some movement towards each other," Russia's senior foreign policy official stated.