Poland close to establishing US military base president joked would be called 'Fort Trump': report

Poland close to establishing US military base president joked would be called 'Fort Trump': report
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Poland is finalizing details of an anticipated deal to establish a U.S. military base in the country, though the installation will not be referred to as “Fort Trump,” as the Polish president joked last year, Bloomberg reported.

People familiar with the matter told the news outlet that the plan is in an inter-agency process led by the Defense Department with input from White House national security adviser Alexander Bolton.

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Issues including how many additional U.S. troops would be sent to Poland, where they would be based and what equipment the Pentagon would provide are still reportedly being worked out.

The two countries “are engaged in ongoing discussions on the status of forces, and we have nothing to announce at this time,” a spokesman for the National Security Council told Bloomberg.

A spokesman for Polish President Andrzej Duda, meanwhile, said that talks are progressing.

U.S. troops have had a rotational presence in Poland since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Poland’s eastern neighbor, Ukraine.

Currently, 4,000 U.S troops rotate through Poland. Warsaw’s leaders, however, want a stronger presence against a resurgent Russia and have asked Washington for the permanent Army brigade and a headquarters to be stationed within its borders, offering to pay $2 billion for such an installation.

Moscow, however, would likely see the move as an act of aggression and a provocation.

U.S. Army Secretary Mark Esper said last year that the space and terrain proposed by Duda did not offer enough room for facilities meant to train U.S. troops.

Poland has been pushing the base idea since last year, with Duda in September appealing to President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE by suggesting the proposed location be called “Fort Trump.”

“I said that I would very much for us to set up permanent American bases in Poland, which we would call Fort Trump,” Duda said through a translator during a joint press conference with Trump.

One source told Bloomberg, however, that Polish and U.S. officials now don’t want the eventual base to be named "Fort Trump."

Trump has said the administration is “looking at it very seriously,” and is “something that we are considering.”

Polish officials also brought up the topic when Vice President Pence visited the country in February, a person familiar with the talks said.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was also to visit Washington this week to discuss the proposal with Bolton, but the trip was postponed.

If an agreement is reached, Trump is considering traveling to Poland in the fall to commemorate the deal.