- US President Donald Trump is going to declare that Western civilization is at stake at a speech in Warsaw.
- He is going to point to Poland as an example of the will to defend freedom.
- US President is expected to confirm America’s commitment to the security of Eastern Europe.
- Trump is attending a ‘Three Seas Summit’ to promote US natural gas sales to Eastern Europe.
- Warsaw visit comes ahead of his first G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, and his first meeting with Russian leader Putin.
US President Donald Trump is expected to declare at a keynote speech in Warsaw that Western civilization is at stake, as he reaffirms America’s commitment to Eastern Europe in the face of a resurgent Russia.
Trump arrived in Poland’s capital on Thursday, a day before he is to participate in his first G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
The US President Donald Trump started his visit in Warsaw by attending a summit on the Three Seas Project, in which he will promote US natural gas among America’s Eastern European allies to find new clients for US LNG exports while reducing the region’s energy dependence on Russia.
The development comes amid the ongoing standoff between the West and Moscow over Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula back in 2014, and the ongoing pro-Russian insurgency in Ukraine’s Donbass region since then.
Eastern European NATO and EU member states’ have been well-known for being heavily dependent on Russia for energy resources such as natural gas, partly a legacy from the Soviet Bloc and the Cold War era.
Some of those, such as Bulgaria, are over 90% dependent on Russian natural gas supplies.
In recent years, Moscow has cut off gas shipments during pricing disputes with neighboring countries in winter months.
The Three Seas Project was launched as a joint Polish-Croatian initiative in 2016 to strengthen trade and political co-operation between countries bordering the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas.
On Western Civilization
Western civilization is at stake, and its survival will depend on the willingness to defend it, US President Donald Trump is going to state in a keynote speech in Poland’s capital Warsaw later on Thursday, according to released excerpts from his address, as cited by the BBC.
“The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive,” Trump is going to state.
“Because as the Polish experience reminds us – the defence of the West ultimately rests not only on means but also on the will of its people to prevail,” his speech is expected to go further.
While pointing to Poland as an example of a country ready to defend civilization, Trump is also expected to warn against the threats of “terrorism and extremism”.
It is noted that Poland’s conservative government more or less shares Trump’s generally hostile view of immigration and strong sense of sovereignty.
In his speech at the monument to the 1944 Warsaw Uprising on Krasinski Square, Trump is also going to reaffirm US support for Eastern Europe ahead of his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Hamburg.
Earlier, Putin called for an end to sanctions against Russia over its encroachments against Ukraine as well as trade protectionism in an editorial published in German newspaper Handelsblatt.
It is still uncertain to what extent Trump is going to stress America’s commitment to NATO’s mutual defense in his Warsaw speech.
It was only some four and a half months into his term that the US President finally declared his and America’s commitment to Article 5 of the NATO treaty, the mutual defense clause which stipulates that an attack against one member of the Alliance is considered an attack against all.
Trump notoriously omitted to mention Article 5 and the US commitment to the security of its European allies during his first NATO summit in Brussels at the end of May.
Instead, the US President voiced half-hearted support for NATO, and reprimanded allies over what he called unpaid debts.
Because of Trump’s disparaging comments about NATO (and the EU) while he was on the campaign trail and then as President-elect, ever since he took office in late January, the Trump Administration has been working hard to reassure its NATO allies of the US commitment to European security.
NATO recently completed the “Iron Wolf 2017“ exercise as part of the annual NATO maneuvers “Saber Strike” in the Baltic region. It is organized by the Command of the US Forces in Europe, and involved a total of 11,300 troops from 20 NATO countries.
For the first time, US and British troops carried out a NATO drill on defending the so called Suwalki Gap – the 104 km (65-mile) border between Poland and Lithuania – which is considered a weak spot for the Alliances if Russia decides to invade it.
According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the drills have sent a message of deterrence to Russia.
In 2016, the North Atlantic Alliance decided to boost its “forward presence” in the Eastern European NATO members to protect them from Russia by deploying four multinational battalions (battle groups) in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.