Poland is willing to pay the U.S. up to $2 billion for the installment of a permanent American military base in the nation, according to a document Polish news portal Outlet obtained.
“This proposal outlines the clear and present need for a permanent U.S. armored division deployed in Poland, Poland’s commitment to provide significant support that may reach $1.5-$2 billion by establishing joint military installations and provide for more flexible movement of U.S. forces,” the Polish defense ministry said in the document.
The ministry goes a step further in trying to coax the U.S. into agreeing to the terms, adding it is willing “to share the burden of defense spending, make the decision more cost-effective for the U.S. government and allay any concerns for Congress in uncertain budgetary times.”
Poland has long asked for American support, including troops and a permanent military base, for decades.
Prior to former President Barack Obama’s visit to Poland in 2014 — where he announced the U.S. would spend $1 billion boosting its military presence in Eastern Europe — former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski backhandedly urged the U.S. to set up a permanent military presence in the nation.
“For the first time since the Second World War, one European country has taken a province by force from another European country,” Sikorski told The New York Times. “America, we hope, has ways of reassuring us that we haven’t even thought about. There are major bases in Britain, in Spain, in Portugal, in Greece, in Italy. Why not here?”
Poland is, notably, one of the NATO member nations that has agreed to President Donald Trump’s call for members to cough up two percent, or more, of their GDPs to military defense. Poland has done that since 2015.
.@edgarsrinkevics: We are interested in the ??U.S. persistent military presence in the Baltic States and Poland @Latvia_USA @USEmbassyRiga @teikmanis @AmbPettit @Arlietas @Latvian_MFA https://t.co/wQyHQKqDe5 pic.twitter.com/L16jOyLkS4
— Latvian MFA (@Latvian_MFA) March 7, 2018
The proposal comes nearly one month before members of NATO gather in Brussels for a summertime summit.
Russia, a NATO partner country, isn’t likely to take the Polish offering to America well, which could complicate Poland’s relationship with other member nations, like Italy and Germany.
Both of the nations have expressed an intent to smooth over relations with Moscow.
Poland is likely fearing Russia’s continued influence and takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea region — a campaign the Kremlin began four years ago during Obama’s administration.
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