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Trump to meet with Polish President Duda as NATO leaders call for additional support for Ukraine

Trump to meet with Polish President Duda as NATO leaders call for additional support for Ukraine

 


NEW YORK (AP) Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is scheduled to meet in New York on Wednesday with Polish President Andrzej Duda, a staunch supporter of Ukraine who once proposed naming a military base in his country Fort Trump .

The planned dinner, confirmed by a person familiar with the matter, comes as European leaders prepare for the possibility that Trump wins the November election and returns to the White House. Leaders of NATO countries are particularly concerned given Trump's long history of critical comments about the Western alliance, even after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Some in Poland fear the meeting could damage the country's relationship with the Biden administration, while others welcome the prospect of Duda leveraging his friendly ties with Trump to advocate for support for Ukraine. NATO member Poland shares a border with Ukraine, and Duda, a right-wing populist whose term ends in 2025, has encouraged Washington to provide more aid to kyiv to fight Russian aggression .

Trump has come out against such funding, but in a possible change late last week, he said he could support new funds if they took the form of a loan.

Duda, who was in New York for meetings at the United Nations, has long expressed admiration for Trump. When Duda was in a tight race for re-election in 2020, then-President Trump welcomed him to the White House.

Trump is in New York this week for the start of his criminal trial on hush money charges, which has significantly limited his campaign movements. He is the first former president in United States history to face a criminal trial. Jury selection is expected to resume Thursday.

Republicans in Washington are fighting among themselves over a foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and other allies. The Trump Make America Great Again movement has been particularly critical of the proposed aid to Ukraine, a stance consistent with the Republican Party's softening stance on Russia since the rise of Trump in American politics.

Trump has long praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling his invasion of Ukraine smart and savvy. In February, Trump sent shockwaves around the world after telling a rally that he told NATO members who weren't spending enough on defense that he would encourage Russia to do more. 'them everything they wanted. He repeated this threat a few days later.

Such a move would violate Article 5, which states that an armed attack against one or more NATO members is considered an attack against all NATO members.

Centrist Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, a political opponent of Duda, criticized the visit with Trump. But Tusk expressed hope that Duda would use it to raise the issue of clearly siding with the Western world, democracy and Europe in this Ukrainian-Russian conflict.

The social-liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza said in an opinion article that the visit would be harmful and dangerous, as it would be interpreted as Polish support for Trump in the race for the White House and was a slap in the face against the Biden administration.

Duda's favorable approach to Trump has been a source of controversy in Poland, where fears about Russia are high and support for NATO is strong. Duda was mocked for suggesting years ago that Poland could name a base Fort Trump, which did not happen. Duda also came under fire after Trump tweeted a photo after a meeting at the White House in 2018, which some saw as showing Duda, and therefore Poland, in a subservient position.

Dudas' supporters argued for the value of talking to those in and out of power in Washington.

We need to talk to both sides of the political stage, especially since Donald Trump has a good chance of winning and these relationships need to be nurtured, said Pawe Jaboski, a former foreign minister from Duda's conservative political camp, in a newspaper interview. Do Rzeczy information portal. International politics is about maintaining relationships with everyone and making them as good as possible.

Another NATO member and leading proponent of support for Ukraine, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, met with Trump at the former president's Florida estate earlier this month before a visit with the Secretary of State. State Antony Blinken.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, an autocrat who has the closest relations with Russia of any European Union country, met privately with Trump last month.

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Gera reported from Warsaw, Poland. Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in New York contributed to this report.

Sources

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