Poland Comes Closer to Getting US to Build ‘Fort Trump’ Military Base on Its Soil
EU and NATO member state Poland seems to have closer to realizing its goal for convincing the United States to establish a permanent American military base on Polish soil, including by proposing to name it “Fort Trump”.
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda officially asked US President Donald Trump for a permanent US base during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, arguing that it would be a bulwark against a threat from Russia.
Duda proposed naming the potential US future military base in Poland “Fort Trump”, and reiterated that the Polish government was prepared to invest USD 2 billion in the project, as cited by Reuters.
Trump in turn said he agreed with Duda that Russia had “acted aggressively” in Poland’s region, apparently referring to Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and the raging pro-Russian insurgency in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbass ever since.
“We’re looking at it very seriously, I know Poland likes the idea very much, and it’s something that we are considering, yes,” Trump told reporters.
The US currently rotates detachments of 3,500 troops through Poland temporarily, plus 1,000-strong detachments under NATO banners. However, the permanent stationing of forces is more expensive because of additional costs for service personnel’s families.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the US military was studying options with Poland about what could become “Fort Trump” but he also made it clear that no decision had been taken.
“It’s not just about a base. It’s about training ranges, it’s about maintenance facilities at the base, all these kinds of things. There’s a host of details we’ve got to study alongside the Poles,” Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon.
Trump and Duda also declared their share concerns about Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany.
They argued it could make Europe even more dependent on Russia for energy and expose it to what Duda called “political blackmail” with shipments.
Yet, the US President stated the United States was not going to sanction companies that participated in Russia’s Nord Stream 2.
“We just think it’s very unfortunate for the people of Germany that Germany is paying billions and billions of dollars a year for their energy to Russia,” he said.
In a joint statement released later on Tuesday, after the press conference, Trump and Duda said they will continue coordinating efforts “to counter energy projects that threaten our mutual security, such as Nord Stream 2.”
Trump also said the United States was considering a visa waiver program for Poland, which is one out of several EU member states whose citizens still need visas to travel to the US.
(Banner image: Donald Trump on Twitter)