Polish Official: No Progress With U.S. on Missile Defense

Tuesday, 01 Jul 2008 09:47 AM

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WARSAW, Poland – There has been no recent progress in Poland's talks with the United States on hosting a missile defense base, chief aide to Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Tuesday.

Slawomir Nowak said on state radio that the lack of headway is the fault of Washington, which he says has toughened its stance.

"The Americans ... have toughened their position in talks with our negotiators. We see no progress," Nowak said on state Radio 1.

The U.S. wants to place 10 missile defense interceptors in northern Poland as part of a global missile defense system. The plan also includes a radar base in the neighboring Czech Republic.

Poland and the U.S. opened negotiations some 18 months ago, but the talks have bogged down over Polish demands for more military aid in exchange for letting the U.S. set up the base.

Nowak said that Warsaw's main goal in making financial demands is to "increase the state of Poland's security in connection to the American installation in Poland. Today we have no such guarantees."

He said Warsaw will be ready to sign an agreement when a solution that ensures greater security for Poland is found.

"Today there is no such certainty, today there is no such agreement," Nowak said.

Russia has sharply protested Washington's plans, arguing that U.S. military installations so close to its borders threatens its security. Moscow has even threatened to target any eventual base in Poland and the Czech Republic with its own missiles.

Washington, however, says the plan poses no threat to the Kremlin's vast nuclear arsenal, and has stressed that the system aims to protect Europe from possible missile attacks from Iran.

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