President #Donald Trump visited Warsaw, Poland July 6 to meet with its president and deliver a speech to the Polish people in advance of the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. The initial reaction to President Donald Trump’s speech is not unique but bears repeating anyway. If Putin thought he had bought himself a Manchurian candidate in Trump he must be sorely disappointed.

In all seriousness, the speech, both a full-throated defense of the West and a paean of American-Polish friendship, it could have been given by Ronald Reagan had he come back from the dead. Gone is the Trump who was dubious of alliances like NATO and wanted to be friends with Russia.

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In his stead is a Trump who is aware of the realities of the post-Cold War world and is setting about to further American interests. A couple of points follow that will particularly peeve Putin, who no doubt is preparing for a sharp exchange when he meets the President at the G-20 summit.

Trump offers to sell more natural gas to Poland

Trump noted that the first shipment of American liquefied #Natural Gas had arrived and more could follow. Thanks to the fracking boom, the #United States has plenty of natural gas to export and is willing to sell to anyone, especially Eastern Europe, with no strings attached.

This fact is of vital importance as hitherto Russia has enjoyed a monopoly on natural gas in the region thanks to a pipeline that was built in the 1980s. Russia has used money bought by selling the product to fund its military buildup.

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It has also used its monopoly to hold the whip hand over its former client states insofar as towing the Russian line. Now Trump has complicated both of those advantages.

Trump is selling missile defense equipment to Poland

The second thing that Trump announced during his visit was that the United States is selling advanced Patriot ABM systems to Poland. Some years ago, President Obama canceled a Bush-era deployment of ballistic missile defense hardware to Eastern European countries to ward off a possible attack from Iran. Obama was appeasing Putin, who objected strongly to Russia’s former client states having such capabilities.

Now Trump is signaling that Putin’s wishes are not going to matter as much when it comes to American relations with Eastern European countries like Poland. Trump has thus returned American policy in Europe to one designed to thwart Russian imperial aspirations. Putin, no matter how unhappy this new turn makes him, is going to have to adjust accordingly.