US President Donald Trump promised to send additional 1000 troops to Poland to counter Russia. At the same time, he criticised Germany for over-relying on Russian energy, making itself a “hostage” to Russia. While the details of the additional US armed help remain unclear, it fell short of Poland’s expectations to host a permanent US military base. At this point, about 5000 US soldiers are deployed in Poland along with NATO forces, being part of a rotating pool. According to Trump’s announcement, the extra forces would be moved from Germany once Poland completes building the facilities needed to accommodate troops.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the US position, tweeting it shows “the strong commitment of the US to European security & the strength of the transatlantic bond.” However, Poland’s hopes for US cooperation were far higher, alarmed by Russia’s occupations of territories in Georgia and Ukraine over the last decade. “Russia was always looking out to take our territory,” said Polish President Andrzej Duda, adding that “we would like Russia to be our friend, but unfortunately, Russia is showing its unkind, unpleasant face. We don’t want to be part of that.”
Trump also commented on Germany’s dependence on Russia’s energy supplies: “It really makes Germany a hostage to Russia.” He further implied to consider imposing sanctions and blocking the new Russian-led natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2. “I just will tell you very strongly that I think Germany is making a tremendous mistake by relying so heavily on the pipeline,” continued Trump. The pipeline would double the amount of gas that is delivered between the area of Russia and Germany.