Poland does not need U.S. missile defense base - ex-PM
RIA Novosti |
December 6, 2007
WARSAW, Dec ember 6 (RIA Novosti) - Poland does not need a U.S. missile defense base, a former Polish prime minister said on Thursday.
The U.S. plans to deploy a radar station and a missile base in Central Europe purportedly to counter possible strikes from "rogue" states.
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"I do not think that Poland needs a U.S. missile defense base," Leszek Miller said in an interview with RIA Novosti, adding that Poland's security was guaranteed by NATO, while a new U.S. base would not enhance its security.
He said it was also unknown what line a new U.S. administration would take on the deployment of missile defense elements in Poland, adding that there should be no haste.
Miller also said Warsaw should negotiate on missile defense not only with the United States.
"Consultations are needed with NATO, the European Union, and needless to say, Russia. The Americans themselves should also talk to Moscow," he said.
He said the deployment of a U.S. base in Poland would "increase misunderstanding, alienation and hostility on the part of Russia."
"Those would be highly negative consequences for Poland," he said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday Washington's reply to Russia's missile defense cooperation proposals was a major setback from previous agreements.
"We have received the paper, which is a serious setback from what we were initially told. It no longer stipulates the deployment of Russian officers at the Third [missile shield] Site in the Czech Republic and Poland," Lavrov told a news conference, echoing earlier Russian comments on the issue.
Lavrov said the United States is proposing Russian military officials could visit the sites if Czech and Polish authorities do not object. "This is quite a different story, you see," he said.
The minister also said the U.S. wanted to decide on activating the missile defense sites unilaterally while previous agreements with Moscow said it was to be a joint decision.
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