Mike Pompeo’s tour of Central Europe is aimed at reducing Chinese influence in the region. This is a problem for Poland as it was counting on Chinese investments in infrastructure.
But the Americans are also expecting Polish backing for their conflict with Iran, the issue set to dominate the Warsaw summit on February 13th and 14th. Such backing is tricky as it threatens relations with EU partners such as France and Germany.
The reward, according to US diplomatic sources is to be the strengthening of the US military presence in Poland. VP Mike Pence is to mention this in Warsaw, though the final decision will be taken by the Pentagon in March.
Poland’s liberal opposition is critical of the Middle East Conference. Its foreign affairs spokesman Paweł Zalewski says that “it is in Poland’s interests when the West works together, so Poland should be working as a mediator and not with the US against the EU”.
The conference in Warsaw has divided the EU. Poland, the UK and Italy are sending their foreign affairs ministers to the conference as are five other states, but Germany, France and Spain are sending low level representation.