President Donald Trump on Tuesday stated that the U.S. is considering having a permanent military presence in Poland, adding that he shares the country’s concerns about possible Russian aggression.
Poland has repeatedly requested a permanent U.S. military presence on its soil to counter Russia, offering up to $2 billion in funding for such a base, Reuters reported.
According to Reuters, Washington currently has troops in Poland temporarily but permanently stationing forces there will be expensive because of costs like housing for families, schools and hospitals.
Meanwhile, Russia warned in May that NATO’s expansion toward Russia’s borders undermined stability in Europe.
Polish President Andrzej Duda made a direct appeal to Trump for a permanent U.S. base, telling a joint news conference with the American president that he would name the base “Fort Trump,” and that it would serve as a bulwark against what he considers a threat from Moscow, Reuters informs.
Trump responded to Duda that Russia respects strength and that the U.S. has strengthened its military under his leadership.
“I am with the President. I feel that he is right,” he said.
Meeting Duda earlier in the Oval Office, Trump said Poland’s request was under consideration.
“We’re looking at it very seriously, I know Poland likes the idea very much, and it’s something that we are considering, yes,” he said.
Poland became part of NATO in 1999 along with several other Baltic republics bordering Russia, despite Moscow’s strong opposition.
Trump also said the United States was considering a visa waiver program for Poland.