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Upper House of Polish Parl't Approves Creation of Territorial Defense Forces

Sputnik News

17:12 01.12.2016

The Polish Senate, the parliament's upper house, passed a bill on forming the Poland's Territorial Defense Forces (WOT) on Thursday.

WARSAW (Sputnik) – The law on establishing new army unit was supported by 52 senators, while 29 voted against it. The law was passed without any amendments and would be submitted for the president's signature.

The Polish parliament's lower house, the Sejm, approved the bill on forming the proposed WOT on November 16. The country's Defense Minister Anthony Macierewicz signed a decree formalizing the program on the creation of the new defense forces unit in April.

The bill stipulates establishing the WOT in 2017, boosting its numbers from 35,000 to 50,000 by 2019. A total of 17 part-time volunteer brigades are planned to be created, which would work with full-time forces in case of threats to national security, including natural disasters and counter-terrorism.

The measures come as Poland boosts its army amid increasing NATO presence in Europe. Macierewicz said there were plans to increase Poland's army by up to 50 percent over the coming years, with at least three territorial defense brigades to be deployed at the country's eastern border.


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