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Poland asks Trump to establish military base on Russian border to deter Moscow

Poland asks Trump to establish military base on Russian border to deter Moscow

Poland has asked Donald Trump to set up a permanent military base in the country to shore up its defences against Russia – a step that would anger Moscow if it went ahead.

The Polish government has offered to pay $2bn (£1.5bn) to establish the joint armoured division, which would have 15,000 US troops and 250 tanks and armoured vehicles.

A written proposal from the Polish defence ministry that was sent to Washington focuses on the words of President Trump, who last year warned in Warsaw of “dire threats to our security and to our way of life”. Mr Trump added: “We will confront them … we will win.”

The Polish paper states: “A permanent presence of a US armoured division in Poland will help achieve that goal.

“Establishing such a force is necessary to present an unequivocal challenge and deterrence to Russia’s increasingly emboldened and dangerous posture that threatens Europe.”

Moscow would consider the establishment of such a force in Poland a breach of the 1997 Nato Russia Founding Act, through which Nato agreed not to deploy permanent forces in eastern Europe.

Discussions between the Polish defence ministry and the Pentagon have already begun. Mariusz Blaszczak, the Polish defence minister, revealed he had recently held talks in Washington about having US troops in the country.

And the US Senate Armed Services Committee has already asked James Mattis, the defence secretary, to assess the cost of permanently stationing American troops there.