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13 June 2019, 01:44 | Glen Norman
Trump mulls increasing US troop levels in Poland
Ahead of the joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda on Wednesday, a F-35 conducted a flyover above the White House, in a stunt meant to celebrate Warsaw's decision to purchase 32 of the US-made jets.
Trump said the USA troops would be moved to Poland from fellow NATO-member Germany and that Poland was building facilities to accommodate them.
"We're talking about 2,000 troops" who would come from bases outside the USA, most likely Germany, Trump said. While the press conference focused on areas of agreement, Trump said he differed with Poland's efforts to force the country's Supreme Court justices to retire early.
"They are talking about 2,000 troops, but we'd be taking them out of Germany or moving them from another location".
"Poland's been a tremendous friend of ours for a long time, and when Melania and I were there not so long ago, it was a very special day", said President Trump.
In honor of that possible purchase, a single F-35 flew over the White House on a sunny afternoon. In a highly unusual presidential airshow, one of the advanced warplanes roared over the White House during Duda's visit, prompting the visiting Polish leader to wave in delight.
On a separate issue at the heart of European-Russia tensions, Trump criticized Germany for what he said was over-reliance on Moscow for energy supplies.
Trump once again criticized Germany for its Nord Stream 2 pipeline deal with Russian Federation, threatening the specter of sanctions at an unspecified time in the future.
"We're protecting Germany from Russian Federation and Russia is getting billions and billions of dollars of money from Germany", he said in the Oval Office.
"Russia again is showing its unkind, unfriendly imperial face", he said.
"Russia was always looking out to take our territory", he said. "We don't want to be part of that".
Also on Tuesday, senior officials touted a "significant announcement" around the Polish president's visit related to the future security partnership and defense relationship between the US and Poland, but officials declined to go into detail.
Poland, for its part, sees Russian Federation as a threat.
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