Permanent US base in Poland a done deal?

Some white house sources say that a possible permanent US military base in Poland is actually a deal, Polish President Andrzej Duda told Polsat private broadcaster on Wednesday.

Duda said that the subject “really was alive in the United States today” and that “Fort Trump” was “being considered all the time, but mainly from the technical side”.

“Some at the White House say … that the decision [to set up the permanent military base in Poland] has effectively been made. But, of course, important technical matters are yet to be resolved,” Duda added.

Poland already hosts US troops. An anti-missile shield base in Redzikowo, northern Poland, is under construction by the US, some 1,000 American soldiers are stationed in Orzysz, northeastern Poland, and there is a US troop presence under NATO, Duda said.

“We want there to be more US soldiers,” the Polish president added.

Amid fears of Russia, its giant neighbour to the east, Poland has been pressing for a permanent US troop presence on its territory.

But Duda declined to say when the new base could be set up.

He said that preparing infrastructure, which Poland has pledged to invest in, that would allow the base to be set up would not be “a process which can be completed within a year”.

Błażej Spychalski, a spokesman for the Polish president, recently said that Warsaw wants to spend about USD 2 billion to build infrastructure for American soldiers in Poland, including “housing, educational facilities, medical facilities”.

He also said Poland and the US were yet to agree on a location, with Washington preferring to set up the base in central Poland and Warsaw wanting the base in the country’s east

Polish officials have suggested naming a new base Fort Trump, after US President Donald Trump.

Senior Polish parliamentarian Adam Bielan said last month that a decision on a possible permanent US troop presence in Poland was likely to be made next year.

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