Thursday, July 06, 2017

Trump addresses the Poles today

President Trump's grand entrance in Warsaw will be seen worldwide before he sets foot in Germany, France or the United Kingdom, something that a White House official gamely said Wednesday was 'half because of the calendar, and half on purpose, but not meant to be a stick in anyone's eye.'

Before heading to Germany for the G20 Summit, President and Mrs. Trump and close advisers landed in Poland, where Trump will deliver an address to that nation today. David Martosko reports for the Daily Mail,
A White House official confirmed on Tuesday that part of Trump's globally televised speech will focus on energy issues, a reference to the Three Seas Initiative meant to unite a dozen central European countries in a north-south economic alliance that will weaken Russia's regional power.

...The three seas in question – the Adriatic, the Baltic and the Black Sea – are critical geographical landmarks to Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria, the nations that united last year to create their own bloc.
Most of those nations were under the Soviet Union's control until the end of the 1980s. They all rely heavily on Russian oil and gas to drive their economies.
But Poland has built its own natural gas export terminal on the Baltic coast, and Croatia will finish its own in 2019 on the Adriatic.

...Trading more with each other and less with Moscow would drive down Putin's influence in a part of the world where old wounds still fester.
And while much of the world sees Trump as engaged in a friendly dance with Putin, many Poles still view U.S.-Russia relations as Cold War-infused and frosty.
'Screw Russia. We don't need Russia,' cab driver Mateusz Nowak said Wednesday as his Mercedes idled near Krasinski Square.
'We don't need Germany. We don't need China. We don't need anybody but the Croats, the Czechs, the Ukrainans – and maybe the U.S.'
'Trump is welcome here,' said Nowak. 'Anyone who Merkel and Putin don't like is good news for us.'
Read more here.

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