Contains selective news articles I select

Posts tagged ‘Christila Section’

College in Bosnia offers scholarships to people banned by Trump

February 3, 2017

A Bosnia-based international school said today it would offer scholarships to refugees and students from seven nations affected by the immigration ban issued last week by US President’s Donald Trump.

United World College (UWC) Mostar, one of 17 UWC schools worldwide that aim to bring together students from conflict zones, opened in 2005 with the goal of healing ethnic divisions after the Bosnian war of the 1990s.

“We offer scholarships to US students, as well as to refugees and students from majority Muslim countries banned by the US Executive order to send a signal for peace,” said Valentina Mindoljevic, head of the UWC Mostar.

Trump’s order bars the admission of people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen and places an indefinite hold on Syrian refugees.

The school in 2011 extended a scholarship to Kim Han-sol, the grandson of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, after Hong Kong refused him a visa to study there.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170203-college-in-bosnia-offers-scholarships-to-people-banned-by-trump/.

Venezuelan leader defiant as US imposes sanctions on him

August 01, 2017

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Nicolas Maduro claimed a popular mandate Monday to dramatically recast Venezuela’s political system, dismissing U.S. sanctions imposed on him and condemnations by his domestic opponents and governments around the world.

Washington added Maduro to a steadily growing list of high-ranking Venezuelan officials targeted by financial sanctions, escalating a tactic that has so far failed to alter his socialist government’s behavior. For the moment Trump administration did not deliver on threats to sanction Venezuela’s oil industry, which could undermine Maduro’s government but raise U.S. gas prices and deepen the humanitarian crisis here.

The sanctions came after electoral authorities said more than 8 million people voted Sunday to create a constitutional assembly endowing Maduro’s ruling party with virtually unlimited powers — a turnout doubted by independent analysts while the election was labeled illegitimate by leaders across the Americans and Europe.

Maduro said Monday evening he had no intention of deviating from plans to rewrite the constitution and go after a string of enemies, from independent Venezuelan news channels to gunmen he claimed were sent by neighboring Colombia to disrupt the vote as part of an international conspiracy led by the man he calls “Emperor Donald Trump.”

“They don’t intimidate me. The threats and sanctions of the empire don’t intimidate me for a moment,” Maduro said on national television. “I don’t listen to orders from the empire, not now or ever … Bring on more sanctions, Donald Trump.”

Venezuela’s National Electoral Council said turnout in Sunday’s vote was 41.53 percent, or 8,089,320 people. The result would mean the ruling party won more support than it had in any national election since 2013, despite a cratering economy, spiraling inflation, shortages of medicine and malnutrition. Opinion polls had said some 85 percent of Venezuelans disapproved of the constitutional assembly and similar numbers disapproved of Maduro’s overall performance.

Opposition leaders estimated the real turnout at less than half the government’s claim in a vote watched by government-allied observers but no internationally recognized poll monitors. An exit poll based on surveys from 110 voting centers by New York investment bank Torino Capital and a Venezuela public opinion company estimated 3.6 million people voted, or about 18.5 percent of registered voters.

The electoral council’s vote counts in the past had been seen as reliable and generally accurate, but the widely mocked announcement appeared certain to escalate the polarization and political conflict paralyzing the country.

“If it wasn’t a tragedy … if it didn’t mean more crisis, the electoral council’s number would almost make you laugh,” opposition leader Freddy Guevara said on Twitter. Maduro has threatened that one of the constitutional assembly’s first acts would be jailing Guevara for inciting violence.

The constituent assembly will have the task of rewriting the country’s constitution and will have powers above and beyond other state institutions, including the opposition-controlled congress. Maduro has said the new assembly will begin to govern within a week. Among other measures, he said he would use the assembly’s powers to bar opposition candidates from running in gubernatorial elections in December unless they sit with his party to negotiate an end to hostilities that have generated four months of protests that have killed at least 120 and wounded nearly 2,000.

Along with the U.S., the European Union and nations including Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Spain and Britain criticized Sunday’s vote. Maduro said he had received congratulations from the governments of Cuba, Bolivia and Nicaragua, among others.

The monetary impact of the new U.S. sanctions wasn’t immediately clear as Maduro’s holdings in U.S. jurisdictions, if he has any, weren’t publicized. However, imposing sanctions on a head of state is rare and can be symbolically powerful, leading other countries to similarly shun such a leader. For example, the U.S. has had sanctions against Syria’s President Bashar Assad since 2011. Other heads of state currently subject to U.S. sanctions include Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

Maduro called the constitutional assembly in May after a month of protests against his government, which has overseen Venezuela’s descent into a devastating crisis during its four years in power. Due to plunging oil prices and widespread corruption and mismanagement, Venezuela’s inflation and homicide rates are among the world’s highest, and widespread shortages of food and medicine have citizens dying of preventable illnesses and rooting through trash to feed themselves.

The president of the opposition-led National Assembly, Julio Borges, told Venezuelan news channel Globovision on Monday that Maduro’s foes would continue protesting until they won free elections and a change of government.

He said Sunday’s vote gave Maduro “less legitimacy, less credibility, less popular support and less ability to govern.”

Associated Press writers Matthew Lee in Washington and Christine Armario in Bogota, Colombia, contributed to this report.

Russia vents frustration over Trump signing sanctions bill

August 03, 2017

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian officials and lawmakers on Wednesday vented their frustration with U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to sign a bill imposing new sanctions on Russia, warning that it will erode global stability and fuel conflicts.

In an emotional Facebook post, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev described the move as a humiliating defeat for Trump. The Russian Foreign Ministry warned of possible new retaliatory measures. “The hope for improving our relations with the new U.S. administration is now over,” said Medvedev, who served as Russian president in 2008-2012 before stepping down to allow Vladimir Putin to reclaim the job.

The Kremlin had been encouraged by Trump’s campaign promises to improve the Russia-U.S. ties that had grown increasingly strained under President Barack Obama. With the White House preoccupied by congressional and FBI investigations into links between the Trump campaign and Russia, the hoped-for relationship reset has not materialized.

“Trump’s administration has demonstrated total impotence by surrendering its executive authority to Congress in the most humiliating way,” said Medvedev, who presided during a brief period of improved relations early in Obama’s presidency.

“The American establishment has won an overwhelming victory over Trump,” he added. The president wasn’t happy with the new sanctions, but he had to sign the bill. The topic of new sanctions was yet another way to put Trump in place.”

Medvedev emphasized that the stiff new sanctions amount to the declaration of an “all-out trade war against Russia,” but added that it will cope with the challenge and only get stronger. “We will continue to work calmly to develop our economy and social sphere, deal with import substitution and solve important government tasks counting primarily on ourselves,” he said. “We have learned how to do it over the past few years.”

Without waiting for Trump to sign the bill, which was passed by Congress with overwhelming, veto-proof numbers, Russia fired back Friday. It ordered deep cuts in the number of personnel working at the U.S. embassy and consulates in Russia and the closure of a U.S. recreational retreat and warehouse facilities.

It was the long-expected tit-for-tat response to former U.S. President Barack Obama’s move to expel 35 Russian diplomats and shut down two Russian recreational retreats in the U.S. following allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Asked Wednesday whether Moscow planned additional steps in response to Trump signing the bill, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov answered that “retaliatory measures already have been taken.” But shortly after, the Foreign Ministry warned that “we naturally reserve the right for other countermeasures.”

It said the sanctions bill reflects a “short-sighted and dangerous” attempt to cast Russia as an enemy and would erode global stability. The ministry added that “no threats or attempts to pressure Russia will force it to change its course or give up its national interests.”

The ministry said, “We are open for cooperation with the U.S. in the spheres where we see it useful for ourselves and international security, including the settlement of regional conflicts,” but warned that constructive dialogue was only possible if Washington sheds the notion of “American exclusiveness.”

Konstantin Kosachev, who heads the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of the Russian parliament, said the bill Trump signed “leaves no chance for a constructive cooperation with Russia.” “Perspectives for the settlement of Iranian and North Korean problems look grim,” Kosachev said. “It means that real threats will exacerbate.”

Separately, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the European Union also would consider retaliatory action if the U.S. sanctions against Russia penalize European energy companies doing business there.

“If the U.S. sanctions specifically disadvantage EU companies trading with Russia in the energy sector, the EU is prepared to take appropriate steps in response within days,” he said. But Juncker said the new sanctions approved by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by Trump appear to have been softened or dropped in response to EU concerns.

He added that Congress “has now also committed that sanctions will only be applied after the country’s allies are consulted. And I do believe we are still allies of the U.S.”

Lorne Cook in Brussels contributed to this story.

Trump ready to sign Russia sanctions bill, Moscow retaliates

July 29, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will sign a package of stiff financial sanctions against Russia that passed Congress with overwhelming support, the White House said Friday. Moscow has already responded, ordering a reduction in the number of U.S. diplomats in Russia and closing the U.S. Embassy’s recreation retreat.

Trump’s willingness to support the measure is a remarkable acknowledgement that he has yet to sell his party on his hopes for forging a warmer relationship with Moscow. His vow to extend a hand of cooperation to Russian President Vladimir Putin has been met with resistance as skeptical lawmakers look to limit the president’s leeway to go easy on Moscow over its meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The Senate passed the bill, 98-2, two days after the House pushed the measure through by an overwhelming margin, 419-3. Both were veto-proof numbers. The White House initially wavered on whether the president would sign the measure into law. But in a statement late Friday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump had “reviewed the final version and, based on its responsiveness to his negotiations, approves the bill and intends to sign it.”

Never in doubt was a cornerstone of the legislation that bars Trump from easing or waiving the additional penalties on Russia unless Congress agrees. The provisions were included to assuage concerns among lawmakers that the president’s push for better relations with Moscow might lead him to relax the penalties without first securing concessions from the Kremlin.

The legislation is aimed at punishing Moscow for interfering in the 2016 presidential election and for its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria, where the Kremlin has backed President Bashar Assad. It also imposes financial sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

Before Trump’s decision to sign the bill into law, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said the bill’s passage was long overdue, a jab at Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress. McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, has called Putin a murderer and a thug.

“Over the last eight months what price has Russia paid for attacking our elections?” McCain asked. “Very little.” Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Friday said it is ordering the U.S. Embassy in Russia to reduce the number of its diplomats by Sept. 1. Russia will also close down the embassy’s recreational retreat on the outskirts of Moscow as well as warehouse facilities.

Meanwhile, some European countries expressed concerns that the measures targeting Russia’s energy sector would harm its businesses involved in piping Russian natural gas. Germany’s foreign minister said his country wouldn’t accept the U.S. sanctions against Russia being applied to European companies.

A spokesman for the European Commission said Friday that European officials will be watching the U.S. effort closely, vowing to “remain vigilant.” Trump had privately expressed frustration over Congress’ ability to limit or override the power of the president on national security matters, according to Trump administration officials and advisers. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal White House deliberations.

But faced with heavy bipartisan support for the bill in the House and Senate, the president had little choice but to sign the bill into law. Trump’s communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, had suggested Thursday that Trump might veto the bill and “negotiate an even tougher deal against the Russians.”

But Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said that would be a serious mistake and called Scaramucci’s remark an “off-handed comment.” If Trump rejected the bill, Corker said, Congress would overrule him. “I cannot imagine anybody is seriously thinking about vetoing this bill,” said Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “It’s not good for any president — and most governors don’t like to veto things that are going to be overridden. It shows a diminishment of their authority. I just don’t think that’s a good way to start off as president.”

Still, signing a bill that penalizes Russia’s election interference marks a significant shift for Trump. He’s repeatedly cast doubt on the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia sought to tip the election in his favor. And he’s blasted as a “witch hunt” investigations into the extent of Russia’s interference and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.

The 184-page bill seeks to hit Putin and the oligarchs close to him by targeting Russian corruption, human rights abusers, and crucial sectors of the Russian economy, including weapons sales and energy exports.

The bill underwent revisions to address concerns voiced by American oil and natural gas companies that sanctions specific to Russia’s energy sector could backfire on them to Moscow’s benefit. The bill raised the threshold for when U.S. firms would be prohibited from being part of energy projects that also included Russian businesses.

Lawmakers said they also made adjustments so the sanctions on Russia’s energy sector didn’t undercut the ability of U.S. allies in Europe to get access to oil and gas resources outside of Russia. The North Korea sanctions are intended to thwart Pyongyang’s ambition for nuclear weapons by cutting off access to the cash the reclusive nation needs to follow through with its plans. The bill prohibits ships owned by North Korea or by countries that refuse to comply with U.N. resolutions against it from operating in American waters or docking at U.S. ports. Goods produced by North Korea’s forced labor would be prohibited from entering the United States, according to the bill.

The sanctions package imposes mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them. The measure would apply terrorism sanctions to the country’s Revolutionary Guards and enforce an arms embargo.

Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., voted against the sanctions bill.

Putin hails meeting, thinks Trump accepted election denials

July 09, 2017

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed his first face-to-face meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, saying Saturday he thinks Trump accepted his assurances that Russia didn’t meddle in the U.S. presidential election and that their conversation could be a model for improving ties between the two countries.

Speaking to reporters after the two-day Group of 20 summit in Germany ended, Putin said he and Trump had a long discussion about the allegations of Russian interference in last year’s election that have dogged Trump’s presidency.

The Russian leader said he reiterated his “well-known” position that “there are no grounds” for the allegations. “He asked many questions on the subject, I tried to answer them all,” Putin said. “It seems to me that he has taken note of that and agreed, but it’s better to ask him about his attitude.”

Putin said his answers were detailed and covered his discussions on the election meddling issue with representatives of the previous administration, including former President Barack Obama. But he would not reveal details of his exchange with Trump, saying the conversation was confidential.

“He asked questions, I replied. It seemed to me that he was satisfied with the answers,” Putin said. Trump’s top envoy to the United Nations quickly disputed the Russian president’s assessment of Trump’s takeaway from their one-on-one meeting.

“President Trump still knows that they meddled. President Putin knows that they meddled, but he is never going to admit to it. And that’s all that happened,” Ambassador Nikki Haley told CNN on Saturday.

Trump has avoided firmly blaming Moscow for campaign hacking in the past, and the day before he met with Putin, he was similarly elusive. He argued variably that it could have been Russia, probably was Russia and indeed was Russia, while insisting it could have been other countries, too, and adding: “I won’t be specific.”

In his post-summit remarks, Putin said that a working group on cybersecurity he and Trump agreed to create during their meeting should help prevent such election controversies in the future. “What is important is that we agreed that there should be no uncertainty in that sphere,” he said. “We agreed with the U.S. president to create a working group and work jointly on how to ensure cyberspace security, how to ensure the fulfillment of international legal norms in that sphere and prevent meddling in internal affairs of Russia and the U.S. We believe that if we work that way, and I have no reason to doubt it, there will be no such allegations.”

Putin also praised Trump as a strong negotiator who quickly grasps various issues. “As for relations on personal level, I believe we have established them,” Putin said. “Trump’s T.V. persona differs sharply from the real man. He is a very straightforward person, grasps precisely what his interlocutor says, quickly analyzes and responds to questions or new elements of the discussion.”

The Russian leader said his talks with Trump offered a model for rebuilding Russia-U.S. ties, which have plummeted to post-Cold War lows over the Ukrainian crisis, the war in Syria and other disputes.

“I think that if we develop our relations in the same way, there is every reason to believe that we would be able to at least partially restore the level of interaction that we need,” Putin said. He particularly hailed the U.S.-Russian deal on a cease-fire in southwestern Syria announced Friday as a step toward ending the hostilities.

Jim Heintz contributed to this story from Moscow.

G-20 shut Trump out on climate, strike deal on trade

July 09, 2017

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — World powers lined up against U.S. President Donald Trump on climate change, reaffirming their support for international efforts to fight global warming. The Group of 20 summit that ended Saturday in Hamburg also revealed tensions on trade, as the U.S. administration and international partners forged a deal that endorsed open markets but acknowledged countries had a right to put up barriers to block unfair practices

The summit’s final statement made clear that the other countries and the European Union unanimously supported the Paris climate agreement rejected by Trump. They called the deal to reduce greenhouse gases “irreversible” and vowed to implement it “swiftly” and without exception.

The other countries, from European powers such as Germany to emerging ones such as China and energy producers such as Saudi Arabia, merely “took note” of the U.S. position, which was boxed off in a separate paragraph that the summit host, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, made clear applied only to the United States.

She said the U.S. position was “regrettable” but that the summit had achieved “good results in some areas,” and cited a hard-won agreement on trade that included Trump and the United States but did not erase the differences over the issue. She said the talks had been at times “difficult.”

Trump’s chief economic adviser played down tensions between the U.S. and other nations as the president headed home from his first G-20 summit. Gary Cohn told reporters aboard Air Force One that while communiques “are never easy,” he thought this one “came together pretty reasonably. He said having “a diversity of opinions in a group of 20” was not unexpected.

“To get 20 of your friends to agree to have dinner tonight is pretty hard,” Cohn said. Cohn added that while the U.S. obviously has chosen to get out of the Paris agreement, “we do go out of our way to say in there that that doesn’t mean we don’t support the environment and we’re still working for the environment.”

On trade, the talks preserved the G-20’s condemnation of protectionism, a statement that has been a hallmark of the group’s efforts to combat the global financial crisis and the aftereffects of the Great Recession.

The group added new elements, however: an acknowledgment that trade must be “reciprocal and mutually advantageous” and that countries could use “legitimate trade defense instruments” if they are being taken advantage of.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said there was “incredible consensus” on the issue and that the U.S. pushed to include the phrasing about “reciprocal” trade. The wording echoes concerns voiced by Trump, who has said trade must be fair as well as open and must benefit American companies and workers. He has focused on trade relationships where other countries run large surpluses with the U.S., meaning they sell more to U.S. consumers than they buy from American companies.

That’s in contrast to the approach favored by Merkel and the EU, who stress multilateral trade frameworks such as the World Trade Organization. More broadly, concerns about trade and its impact on workers figured large in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and in Britain’s referendum vote to leave the European Union, a free-trade bloc.

Yet pro-trade officials from the European Union pointed out that the language in the G-20 statement contains no departure from the current global system of regulation, which already allows countries to take defensive measures within the rules of the WTO. Those can include import taxes that offset unfair practices such as government subsidies or below-cost pricing.

Despite the trade agreement, the summit was marked by clashing visions, especially where Washington and the European Union were concerned. The EU demonstrated its willingness to move ahead with free trade despite Trump by announcing a trade agreement with Japan on the eve of the summit.

On climate, summit deputies worked until shortly before the ending news conferences to hash out a three-part fudge that everyone could sign. That meant a first section with a broad pledge to fight climate change in general; a separate paragraph carved out that acknowledged the U.S. did not support the Paris deal; and a third paragraph in which the other 19 members reaffirmed their support for the deal.

Advocates for efforts against global warming expressed relief that the other countries had remained unanimous in support of the Paris accords. “The U.S. has obviously been clear about where it stands with the Paris Agreement, but it is heartening that 19 other countries reaffirmed their commitment to the agreement,” said Thoriq Ibrahim, minister of energy and environment for the Maldives and Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States, a group of countries vulnerable to the effects of global warming.

The results of the summit aren’t absolutely decisive, on either the trade or the climate issue. The no-protection pledge was often violated, increasingly in harder-to-detect ways such as tax breaks for home industries rather than obvious import taxes.

Meanwhile, failure to agree on climate doesn’t stop countries from moving ahead in meeting the Paris agreement’s goals, or exceed them if they want to. Additionally, U.S. states and private companies can pursue lower emissions on their own.

G-20 agreements are statements of intent and rely on governments themselves to follow through. Still, they set the tone for global policymaking and enable peer pressure when they’re not followed. Other deals at the summit included an agreement to press internet providers to detect and remove extremist content as a way of fighting terrorist incitement and recruiting.

John Kirton, co-director of the G-20 Research Group at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, called the summit a “very solid success.” He pointed to broad agreement on the agenda, much of it focusing on less controversial issues such as women’s empowerment and promoting digitalization.

Over the long term, the G-20 implements 72 percent of its promises, and has implemented 80 percent of them since last year’s summit in Hangzhou, China, according to Kirton. The meetings competed for attention with rioting by anti-capitalist demonstrators outside the heavily secured Hamburg Messe convention center. Rioters set up street barricades, looted supermarkets and attacked police with slingshots and firebombs.

The G-20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, France, Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.

Poland 1st: Why Trump visits ex-communist nation before UK

July 02, 2017

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — President Donald Trump is breaking with tradition by visiting Poland, an ex-communist country in central Europe, before making a presidential visit to longtime allies Britain, France or Germany.

The White House has stressed Poland’s importance as a loyal NATO ally and its potential as an energy partner as reasons for the visit, which he will make Thursday just before attending a Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. But there are several other reasons that make Poland a logical early destination for the new U.S. president.

POLAND FIRST FOR A POPULIST WELCOME

Trump will be welcomed in Poland by populist leaders who are closely aligned with his worldview and who gained power in 2015 with the same brand of nationalistic, anti-Muslim rhetoric that has put both the new U.S. leader and the Poles in conflict with leaders in Western Europe. Like Trump, Poland’s leaders seek to restore more national sovereignty and weaken international institutions like the European Union. Some political observers worry that the visit could further deepen divisions between Poland and its Western European partners. There is also concern Trump’s visit could embolden the Polish government and encourage what the EU sees as an erosion of the rule of law in Poland.

WARSAW CAN PRODUCE CHEERING CROWDS

Trump can probably count on large enthusiastic crowds to greet him in Warsaw, where he is expected to give a major televised address to the nation. In fact, according to Polish media reports, that is exactly what Poland’s government promised the White House in its invitation. To make good on that pledge, ruling party lawmakers and pro-government activists plan to bus in groups from the provinces to hear Trump’s speech. A warm reception would certainly be a plus for Trump after his somewhat awkward debut in Europe in May. He also could get a frosty reception at the G-20 due to his recent decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord and other policies. Some NATO allies have also been annoyed by Trump’s repeated calls for them to increase military spending.

POLAND SEES U.S. BOOTS ON THE GROUND

Poles, on the other hand, can expect only praise from Trump on their defense expenditures. A U.S. ally in Iraq and Afghanistan, Poland is one of the five NATO members that spends the expected 2 percent of gross domestic product on its military. The Poland-U.S. security relationship has also gotten a boost this year with the deployment of some 5,000 U.S. troops to Poland as part of two separate American and NATO missions. The deployments are meant to reassure allies on NATO’s eastern flank that the alliance is serious about protecting them from Russian aggression.

Many across the region hope to hear Trump commit himself to NATO’s Article 5, which says an attack on one member is an attack on all. After months of waffling on that defense pact, Trump finally did so in June standing alongside the Romanian president in the Rose Garden. Still, it would mean a lot to an anxious region to hear those words spoken on soil closer to Russia.

POLISH-AMERICANS VOTE IN U.S. ELECTIONS

The hundreds of thousands of Polish-American voters in the United States represent an important constituency in several battleground states, and last year they helped give Trump the edge he needed in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. They will certainly be grateful for Trump’s visit to Warsaw, especially since he has chosen to address Poles at Krasinski Square, a location that symbolizes Polish heroism during World War II. That large square has a memorial to the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, a courageous but doomed uprising against Nazi Germany that resulted in more than 200,000 Polish deaths and the destruction of Warsaw.

ENERGY TIES

During Trump’s visit to Warsaw, he will also attend a summit devoted to the Three Seas Initiative, an effort to expand and modernize energy and trade links among 12 countries located between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black seas. One driving purpose of the initiative is to make the region less dependent on Russian energy. Under the project, U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which began arriving in Poland in early June, would have the potential to supply more of the region. The visit coincides with efforts by Trump’s administration to become a net exporter of oil, gas and other resources to boost U.S. revenues and influence.

Tag Cloud