Poland agrees to house 1,000 U.S. troops on its soil amid Russian mischief

President Trump on Wednesday said Poland has agreed to base about 1,000 U.S. troops on its soil, further solidifying the American-Polish relationship in the face of Russian mischief in Eastern Europe. Polish President Andrzej Duda said the final number of U.S. troops in his country will be decided by Mr. Trump, who earlier suggested up to 2,000. American taxpayers will not pay a dime for the infrastructure needed to house and support the soldiers, Mr. Trump said. “The Polish government will pay for this,” he said in a joint press conference with Mr. Duda in the White House Rose Garden. Mr. Trump suggested that the troops would be transferred from foreign bases such as those in Germany rather than from the U.S. The president said he was not trying to punish Germany, though he chided its leaders for purchasing natural gas from Poland’s neighbor, Russia. “I just will tell you, very strongly, I think Germany is making a tremendous mistake by relying so heavily on the pipeline,” Mr. Trump said. The troop transfer follows similar actions to beef up NATO defenses against Russia, which has alarmed the West with its forays into Ukraine and saber-rattling in Eastern Europe. “Increasing U.S. forces in Poland is a strong deterrent against Russian aggression in Eastern Europe,” said Sen. John Boozman, Arkansas Republican. Despite frictions, Mr. Trump said he is hopeful that Poland and the U.S. can develop a fruitful relationship with Russia. Mr. Trump is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Group of 20 meeting this month in Osaka, Japan.

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