NATO Nations - Turkey - Turkish soldiers take part in Blue Homeland 2019

Poland's PM Labels Under-Spending NATO Countries 'Free Riders'

Poland prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki singled out France and Germany as he accused some NATO members of being "free riders".

NATO Nations - Turkey - Turkish soldiers take part in Blue Homeland 2019

The Polish prime minister has become the latest political figure to criticise NATO, describing countries who do not hit the alliance's spending target as "free riders". 

In November, French president Emmanuel Macron said NATO was suffering from "brain death", while US president Donald Trump has also been a regular critic of how much other nations contribute to the alliance financially.

Speaking while in Davos for the World Economic Summit, Mateusz Morawiecki mocked the NATO nations not currently spending 2% of its GDP on defence.

"There are current countries in western Europe which are free riders to some extent," Mr Morawiecki told the BBC.

"They spend much less than the 2% which means they are under the security umbrella of somebody else."

When asked what countries he was referring to, Mr Morawiecki said: "Such as France, such as Germany, such as most of the countries of NATO."

RAF Typhoons on a NATO mission in Iceland (Picture: RAF).

Nine of the 29 nations in NATO are estimated to be meeting or exceeding the alliance's target spend of 2% of GDP on defence.

That includes countries like Poland, Estonia, the UK and the US - the alliance's biggest spender.

Germany and France spend 1.38% and 1.84% respectively, while Spain only spends 0.92%.

Luxembourg props up the table with a GDP spend of 0.55%.

Cover Image: NATO troops on exercise in 2019 (Picture: PA).