An expected deal between Washington and Warsaw could be announced by Donald Trump during a possible visit to Poland in September, according to the Rzeczpospolita newspaper.
The daily cited US sources it did not name as saying that President Trump could come to Warsaw when the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II is marked in the Polish capital by international leaders on September 1.
Such a visit by Trump may take place if the agreement on strengthening a US military presence in Poland is reached by that time, Rzeczpospolita reported.
The paper added that Trump would then announce his decision on a new role of US troops in Poland to an audience of Western leaders gathered in Warsaw, among them the German president and several dozen top officials from European Union and NATO countries.
Election boost for Trump, Poland's ruling conservatives?
Trump remembers the enthusiastic welcome he received during a visit to Warsaw in July 2017, according to the Polish paper.
It added that a similar boost months before the start of a presidential campaign in the United States could mobilise Polish-Americans and other voters in the US.
At the same time, a high-profile international event of this kind in Warsaw two months before parliamentary elections in Poland could boost the chances of Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS) party to hold on to power, Rzeczpospolita speculated.
The Americans have also signalled that Trump would be ready to meet Polish President Andrzej Duda at the White House in June, according to the Polish paper.
Talks seen gaining momentum
Until the end of last year, when James Mattis was US secretary of defence, the Pentagon went slow on negotiations with Poland because it was afraid of a military escalation with Russia, according to the Polish newspaper. This changed after Patrick Shanahan took over as defense secretary, Rzeczpospolita claimed.
The paper also reported that Polish negotiators have established a rapport with US National Security Adviser John Bolton, a key aide to Trump.
For technical reasons, there is a risk that Polish-US negotiations could extend beyond the parliamentary elections in Poland this fall, and even the presidential elections in the United States in the autumn next year. And the White House does not want to let that happen, according to Rzeczpospolita.
The daily added that the American leader wants to complete negotiations on what has been dubbed as Fort Trump with the current conservative government in Warsaw rather than see talks extend beyond its term.
The Polish paper claimed that American military leaders have a "fairly precise" vision of how US forces would be strengthened in Poland. This is not only about the number of troops, but also about the nature of their stationing, according to the Polish daily.
Instead of building one new superbase, known as Fort Trump, American forces scattered around the country could be strengthened to about 6,000 men, the largest number in Europe after Germany, Italy and Britain, Rzeczpospolita said.
Ideas include changing the status of a significant portion of these units from a rotating to permanent presence. This in particular applies to an armoured brigade stationed in and around the western Polish town of Żagań, the paper reported.
The Americans could also take over permanent coordination of a NATO battalion in the northeastern town of Orzysz near the Russian border and expand this to a brigade.
Meanwhile, a division command is planned in the western city of Poznań, according to the Polish paper, and in yet another project, NATO wants to build a storage facility for a brigade of troops in Powidz.
Among other projects, the Americans could deploy troops to protect sites including the Polish section of a US missile defence shield over Europe that is under construction at Redzikowo in the north of the country, Rzeczpospolita reported.
Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said in February he had no doubts that the United States would step up its military presence in Poland.