Ava DeSantis writes what to expect from tomorrow’s meeting between President Trump and Poland’s President Duda.
Tomorrow, President Trump will meet with Polish President Andrezj Duda at the White House. Both administrations confirmed that the leaders will discuss defense, trade, telecommunications security, and energy. Senior Administration Officials explained Trump’s intentions for this meeting on the issues of energy and defense.
Poland decreased its dependency on Russian gas in recent years, and last year threatened to stop purchasing gas from Russia’s Gazprom if they could not negotiate a more favorable deal. This morning, Trump administration officials floated the possibility of cooperation on nuclear energy between the U.S. and Poland. The officials said Poland may cease the purchase of Russian gas with the signing of a U.S. deal.
The officials thanked the Polish people for their government’s reliable support of NATO and U.S. military projects, most notably in Afghanistan and Kosovo. Poland supported “Operation Resolute Support in Afghanistan,” and provided military and civilian support to promote stability in Kosovo.
The Duda administration is also a large customer of U.S. weaponry: recently Poland “became a customer of the F-35 fighter aircraft program, the Patriot missile defense system, the high Mars, which is the high mobility artillery rocket system, and the joint air surface standoff missile.” Trump administration officials said of these purchases “this is a modernization that really is going to give Poland a very broad [defense] capability.”
The Trump administration interprets Poland’s financial and military investments as proof they are “taking [their] responsibility as a member of NATO very seriously.” By contrast, last week President Trump voiced concerns that Germany spent too little on its own defense and confirmed plans to pull some U.S. troops from the region.
Journalists at today’s meeting questioned whether these troops would move to Poland. The administration officials refused to comment on this issue, referring the press to National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien’s recent Wall Street Journal op-ed on the topic. The op-ed attributed the move to pull troops from Germany to the need for troops to “be deployed abroad in a more forward and expeditionary manner than they have been in recent years.” This is important, O’Brien writes, “to counter China and Russia.” The administration also refused to comment on what message this shift would send to the Russian leadership.