by Isaac Essel

July 6, 2017


Western civilisation is at stake – Trump

US President Donald Trump is to argue that the future of Western civilisation is at stake in a keynote speech in the Polish capital Warsaw.

Holding up Poland as an example of a country ready to defend civilisation, he will warn against the threats of “terrorism and extremism”.

Poland’s conservative government shares Mr Trump’s hostile view of immigration and strong sense of sovereignty.

Mr Trump is in Poland ahead of a G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

“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,” Mr Trump will say, according to excerpts released from the speech.

“The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive.”

Security in Hamburg has been tightened, with 10,000 people expected to gather for protests during the day and police warning of potentially violent clashes. They have already confiscated a number of homemade weapons.

What will Trump say about Europe?

In the speech at the monument to the 1944 Warsaw Uprising on Krasinski Square, Mr Trump will also reaffirm US support for Eastern Europe ahead of his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Hamburg, the BBC’s James Landale in Warsaw reports.

Mr Putin called for an end to sanctions against Russia as well as trade protectionism in an editorial published in German newspaper Handelsblatt.

The big question will be how strongly Mr Trump will emphasise America’s commitment to Nato’s mutual defence, our correspondent says.

Mr Trump once described Nato as an “obsolete” alliance, criticising other members for not spending more on defence.

American gas for Europe?

Mr Trump’s day began with the Three Seas summit – a Polish and Croatian initiative bringing together 12 nations between the Baltic, the Adriatic and the Black Sea.

Mr Trump was expected to bang the drum for US trade, telling the gathering that US gas imports could reduce their reliance on Russia.

The LNG tanker

The first US shipment of liquefied natural gas arrived in Poland in June photo: REUTERS

The Polish government is trying to become less energy-dependent on Russia, and last month the first ever US liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipment arrived.

A global glut in supply, however, has depressed prices and made it difficult for LNG exporters to turn a profit, Adam Sieminski, an energy analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

Warsaw and three Baltic states have spoken against the construction of an offshore Russian gas pipeline to Germany, known as Nord Stream 2.

“Europe is going to be the great competitive arena between Russian gas and LNG,” oil historian Daniel Yergin was quoted as saying by Reuters.

How big is Trump’s visit for Poland?

Disappointingly perhaps for Mr Trump and his Polish hosts only a small crowd turned out in the sunshine to greet the American president as he arrived at Warsaw’s Royal Castle, the BBC’s Adam Easton reports.

He entered through the back door so those that did come did not even catch a glimpse of him.

President Andrzej Duda, who greeted him at the palace, said earlier that Mr Trump’s visit showed Poland was a “country that matters”.

“And it strengthens our position in the European Union,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Greenpeace activist illuminate the Palace of Culture and Science with words

Greenpeace activists illuminate the Palace of Culture and Science with words “No Trump Yes Paris” photo: REUTERS

Poland has been at odds with fellow EU states over its government’s moves to exert control over the courts and the media.

A warm reception in Warsaw may also benefit Mr Trump’s image with Americans after his earlier visit to Europe in May, Piotr Buras of the European Council on Foreign Relations, told AFP news agency.

“After his disastrous trip to Brussels and Taormina, friendly pictures with European leaders and cheering crowds at his public speech could help Trump repair his image at home,” he said.

However, the Polish branch of Greenpeace is using Mr Trump’s visit to Warsaw to protest against his decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement.

The words “No Trump Yes Paris” were projected in huge green letters on the city’s Palace of Culture and Science on Wednesday.

Will the G20 go smoothly?

Later on Thursday, the US leader will travel to Hamburg for what could be a potentially fractious summit.

He has fallen out with some EU nations over climate change and trade. UK Prime Minister Theresa May will challenge him over climate change, saying an international agreement on the issue should not be renegotiated.

Activists arrive at Hamburg central railway station, 6 July

“No G20”: Demonstrators arrive by train in Hamburg on Thursday photo: REUTERS

“She will say that we don’t see any need for renegotiation – we support the Paris Agreement because it delivers,” an official within the UK government said.

Aid organisations are expected to hold demonstrations in Hamburg urging the heads of government to do more to tackle inequality.

“It’s important because you have the biggest meeting of all of the leading rulers of the main countries in the world – the G20 – and I don’t like some of the politics that they’re doing, especially that of [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, of Putin and of Trump,” one protester told the BBC.

“And if they’re all here what better way to exercise our democratic rights and to show that we are not in favour of a lot of the policies that they are doing?”

Critics accused police in Hamburg of heavy-handed tactics after they used water cannon to disperse protesters camping near the conference venue earlier this week.

German police use water canon to disperse protesters in Hamburg. Photo: 5 July 2017

German police used water canon to disperse anti-G20 protesters in Hamburg on Wednesday AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Which trade deal does not involve Trump?

EU leaders are meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Brussels to give their seal of approval to a landmark free trade deal.

Belgian Prime minister Charles Michel (R) arrives with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) before their meeting in Brussels, Belgium, 5 July 2017

Mr Abe (left) was welcomed to Brussels on Wednesday by Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel photo: EPA

It is estimated that 99% of trade between Japan and the EU will be liberalised, while an accompanying strategic partnership deal will see them co-operate in other areas, from climate change to tackling terrorism.

Both want to show they are committed to a world order built on open trade and international co-operation, in contrast to Mr Trump’s America that is turning inward, the BBC’s Europe correspondent, Damian Grammaticas, reports.

EU-Japan trade talks had stalled after four years but when Donald Trump took office and scrapped his own possible Pacific trade partnership this year, it spurred them into action, and they resolved most of their differences in a matter of weeks.

Source: BBC

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