The President of the United States has announced the consideration of building a permanent base in Poland. He admitted that he did not want to introduce sanctions against Nord Stream 2. Instead, Washington and Brussels are to promote energy cooperation in a new format proposed by the Americans – writes Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of BiznesAlert.pl.
The President of Poland Andrzej Duda called on his American counterpart to build a permanent military base on Polish territory. He suggested that it could be called “Fort Trump”. The US president said that the Poles declared their willingness to pay over USD 2 billion for the construction of the facility and that this is a proposal worth discussing. – We look at it very seriously. I know that Poland is bound to this idea and we are considering it, yes, he admitted.
Although the name of the base proposed by President Duda aroused the amusement of some commentators, in my opinion it is worth treating it as an element of the game with Donald Trump. The President of Poland made a difficult attempt to strengthen bilateral ties with an unpredictable leader. If you believe the image of his personality from the book “Fear” by the renowned journalist Bob Woodward, Donald Trump is staring at himself and naming the base project in Poland with his name may have a motivating effect on him. For this reason, I would not underestimate this play of the President of Poland. It is worth emphasizing, however, that Trump has only announced a discussion on this topic. This is an important signal for Poland.
Nord Stream 2 without US sanctions
Poland, however, waited for another declaration. Here you can talk about the disappointment of optimists who counted on the convincing the US. The American leader admitted that at the moment contrary to Poland’s expectations, America is not going to sanction the contested Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. It is a gas connection from Russia to Germany, which is to be built by the end of 2019 and allow for a larger supply of Russian gas to Central and Eastern Europe. – We think that it is very unfortunate for the German people that Germany is paying billions of dollars annually for raw materials from Russia – he said. The presidents declared in the common position that they would continue to coordinate their efforts to “oppose energy projects threatening common security like Nord Stream 2”. Before the visit of Duda in Washington, I wrote that introducing sanctions against Nord Stream 2 is unlikely. Unfortunately, for now, the Americans do not want to introduce them.
The USA and Poland are also to support energy cooperation and diversification, “including in the nuclear sector”. This declaration is important in the absence of a decision to update the Polish Nuclear Power Program, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year. It is not known whether US companies are further interested in participating in the Polish nuclear program. Westinghouse closed its representative office in Poland due to the lack of decisions of Poles and financial problems of the company.
LNG from the USA for the Three Seas
An underestimated signal from the US appeared on the top of the Three Seas on the eve of Duda-Trump talks. Energy Secretary Rick Perry inaugurated a new initiative: the Transatlantic Partnership for Energy Cooperation. The US is to work with the European Commission to develop a regulatory framework for this cooperation. Earlier, Brussels and Washington announced efforts to develop LNG supplies from the USA to Europe. This may be the first step towards achieving this goal.