USA

Trump Considers Military Boost For Poland

Some 4,000 US service personnel already serve there on rotation from their bases in the United States.

US President Trump and Poland's President Duda speak at the White House (Picture: PA).

US President Donald Trump is considering sending another 1,000 US troops to Poland, amid continuing concerns about the potential military threat from Russia.

At a meeting in the White House with Poland's President Andrzej Duda, he said any soldiers would be transferred from the existing 52,000 strong US contingent in Germany.

Some 4,000 US service personnel already serve there on rotation from their bases in the United States.

Last year Warsaw said it would contribute $2 billion if Washington set up a permanent military base in Poland.

Mr Trump said Poland had a great facility but he has not taken a final decision.

The American President also said Poland would buy more than 30 F-35 fighter jets from the US, and he berated Germany again for contributing too little to NATO coffers.

He and the Polish President differed over Russia's intentions toward the US ally.

At a time of ongoing worries about Russian military activity, Mr Duda said he wanted Russia to be a friend of Poland even as he recounted his country's long history of conflict with Moscow.

"We would like Russia to be our friend, but unfortunately, Russia again is showing its very unkind, unpleasant imperial face," Mr Duda said, noting its attacks on Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014.

He spoke through a translator during a news conference with Mr Trump in the White House Rose Garden.

Mr Trump, who has a history of appearing to defer to Russia, seemed to downplay Mr Duda's concerns.

"I hope that Poland is going to have a great relationship with Russia. I think it's possible. I really do," Mr Trump said.

"I think because of what you've done, and the strength, and maybe we help also, because of what we're doing and doing for Poland.

"But I hope Poland is going to have a great relationship with Russia. I hope we're going to have a great relationship with Russia, and by the way, China and many other countries." 

Mr Trump said he likely would make his second visit to Poland as president in September, the 80th anniversary of the invasion by Nazi Germany in 1939 that set off the Second World War.