Polish lawmakers OK more defense spending as Russia in mind

Poland's lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved an increase in defense spending to at least 2.1 percent of the country's GDP in 2020 and at least 2.5 percent of it in 2030, well above the level NATO requires.

Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz on Friday called the increase a necessary response to "threats from the East" where Russia is "using force to pursue its political goals."

Russia and Belarus are currently holding major war games near Poland's border.

The bill still needs approval by the Senate and the president.

Poland is among only five NATO member countries that meet the alliance's requirement of spending at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense. Warsaw sees the need to increase that amount as it modernizes its armed forces and raises the number of troops.