Senior Polish official slams report that ‘Fort Trump’ plan has crumbled

A senior aide to the Polish president on Friday attacked what he described as “disinformation” in a Reuters report which said that plans for a “Fort Trump” in Poland have crumbled.

Krzysztof Szczerski

Krzysztof Szczerski Photo: PAP/Darek Delmanowicz

Reuters earlier this week cited sources it did not name as saying a Polish proposal to name a military base in honour of Donald Trump, in return for the US president stationing a permanent presence in Poland, has crumbled amid disputes over how to fund the deployment and where to garrison the American troops.

The international news agency cited officials as saying that that Poland wanted US soldiers to be sent close to its eastern border, but Washington preferred to deploy them more to the west, further from Russia.

The officials added that Warsaw initially proposed contributing USD 2 billion to the new base, but the United States wanted it to pay more, according to Reuters.

Krzysztof Szczerski, chief of staff to Polish President Andrzej Duda, called the Reuters story “total disinformation.”

Meanwhile, the US ambassador to Poland, Georgette Mosbacher, slammed the article as “fake news.”

She tweeted: “More fake news! Negotiations are on track! President Trump…& (Polish President ) Duda’s vision for increased US presence in Poland will be even greater than originally outlined. Announcement coming soon.”

Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said that an increasing US military presence in Poland “is a fact.”

He wrote on Twitter: “Now we are agreeing the final details and the talks are taking place in a good atmosphere.”

Amid fears of Russian aggression, the authorities in Warsaw have been making intense efforts to secure boosted US troop numbers in Poland, which lies on the eastern flank of NATO.

Following Moscow’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014, NATO decided at a Warsaw summit in July 2016 to deploy four rotating multinational battalions to Poland and the Baltic states.

The Polish and US presidents in 2019 signed a declaration under which was America was to station around 1,000 extra troops in Poland, a staunch military ally.

(pk)

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