Permanent US military base necessary in Poland - President Duda

My US visit is to serve the strengthening of the Polish voice on the need to ensure additional security for our part of Europe through an additional US presence and a permanent US military base in Poland, President Andrzej Duda told a Polish public TV channel.

The Polish head of state made the statement after a meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House.

"Talks on the matter have been going on in the Pentagon, these are decisions that require time to make, and my visit here is, among other purposes, meant to underline the Polish message about the need to strengthen the security of Poland and our part of Europe through an additional US presence, through a permanent base of US troops in Poland," Duda said in the interview.

However, Duda admitted that the costs of maintaining such a base are very high.

"We declared quite a while ago that we are ready to make preparatory steps, finance them and cover the costs of preparing the site where the Americans could be stationed, while the Americans would cover the costs of the base's operation," the president added.

Referring to his meeting with Donald Trump, Duda said "they held sincere, strong talks," and underlined that his US visit was held in the year of Poland's independence centenary.

He also added that their meeting was an opportunity "to present to Trump the situation in Europe and in our region, from the Polish perspective."

"It seems to me, that this was a very good meeting and I am glad that I had the opportunity to visit the White House. I am convinced that this visit will produce results. Of course, there will be commentators who will surely say that the visit 'has not brought about any effect.' This is a visit, which is to help the taking of some decisions. It is obvious that there are democratic processes in the US, which must take place, and not every decision belongs to the US president. There are political bodies with which the president must consult his decisions," Duda went on to say.

Referring to Nord Stream 2, President Duda said that Donald Trump "is firmly against the gas pipeline, as he believes that this is a purely political project, and not a business-related one." He also added that the US president said that Germany's dependence on Russian supplies 'is not worthwhile' and that he did not understand the German position in this context.

"I only said that Nord Stream 2 is dangerous for Europe, including Poland, as it means a very serious growth of Russian dominance - in fact, it means Russian dominance on the gas market in Europe. And this is bad. We should have the greatest possible diversification of supplies," he stressed.

Referring to the Polish-US declaration signed on Tuesday, President Duda said it has renewed their strategic partnership and pays much attention to military and energy cooperation.

Welcome to The First News weekly newsletter

Every Friday catch up on our editor’s top pick of news about Poland, including politics, business, life and culture. To receive your free email subscription, sign up today.