President Donald Trump on Monday announced an expanded military presence in Poland but said it did not reflect any increased threat from Russia.
Trump, meeting Poland’s President Andrzej Duda on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, said Poland would pay for the increased presence, in keeping with his frequent complaint that NATO allies rely too much on US assistance.
“We’ll be moving soldiers there,” Trump said.
The Poles are “going to be building us facilities that I’m sure are going to be very beautiful,” he said. “They’ll be bearing the entire expense.”
Trump gave little detail about the scope of the plan, which is part of a Joint Declaration on Advancing Defense Cooperation, which he and Duda signed at the meeting.
The agreement says that the current number of about 4,500 US soldiers rotating through deployments in Poland will expand by another 1,000.
Trump said the troops would “most likely” be transferred from other European bases.
Asked by reporters if the bolstered US military presence in Poland was to meant to counter Russia, Trump said, “No, I don’t think so at all.”
Trump said he agreed to the idea because of his relationship with Duda, “whom I like, I respect.”
© 2019 AFP
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