Monday, 22 October, 2018

Polish president suggests 'Fort Trump' U.S. military base

Andrzej Duda and Donald Trump Modal Trigger Andrzej Duda and Donald Trump Getty Images
Patty Aguilar | 19 September, 2018, 03:00

"And we want to invest further, we want to modernize Polish armed forces", Duda said during a White House news conference with President Trump.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks next to first lady Melania Trump during a meeting with Poland's President Andrzej Duda (L) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 18, 2018.

Since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, and followed that up with military support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, Poland has welcomed rotational US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation deployments to Poland and the Baltic states, and pressed for more.

"We believe that the presence of the United States is a guarantor of security in our part of Europe", Duda said.

France and Germany have at times responded in kind to Trump's harsh criticism of alliance members for failing to spend more on defense, but Polish officials, for the most part, have been consistent in their praise of Trump in an effort to get more USA support.

Poland's President Andrzej Duda asks the USA to station more troops in his country and wants to increase the volume of liquefied gas contracts with the United States to cut its dependence on gas imports from Russian Federation. "I am convinced that there is no more an effective method of preventing a war than a decisive stance demonstrating that we are ready at any moment to repel possible attack".

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Facing Russia's increased military activity in the region, Poland has been pressing for the 3,000 USA troops now deployed in Poland on a rotating basis to be upgraded to a larger, permanent presence.

Duda noted the purchases of American weapons by Poland and said he wants to buy more.

Trump said he is considering Poland's request to establish a permanent USA base in that country, but added that Poland "would pay the United States".

"I hope that we will build Fort Trump in Poland together, Mr. President", Duda said.

As Duda gave his opening remarks and expressed interest in defense projects in conjunction with the USA, he proposed the construction of a permanent military base that would be named after Trump. Trump says it's "ridiculous" and bad for the German people. "If they're willing to do that (pay), it's something we will certainly talk about". In March, the United States and Poland said technical problems would delay completion of the Polish section of a USA missile defense shield by two years to 2020. "I think Russian Federation has acted aggressively", he said.

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