Czech Republic, US ink missile shield treaty

July 8th, 2008 - 9:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Prague, July 8 (Xinhua) Visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Czech counterpart Karel Schwarzenberg signed the main treaty on the stationing of a US radar base on Czech soil here Tuesday. The treaty now needs to be approved by Czech parliament and President Vaclav Klaus.

Under the plans to set up an anti-missile shield in central Europe, the US wanted to build a radar base in the Brdy military district, some 90 km southwest of the Czech capital Prague, along with an interceptor missile base in neighbouring Poland.

The plans to set up radar base in Poland drew heavy criticism within home and from Russia. According to media reports, more than 70 percent of Czech citizens oppose the project.

Russia strongly opposed to the missile defence system, saying the plan poses a threat to its strategic interests.

On Tuesday, Russian General Yevgeni Buzhinski said in his speech in Lidovy dum - headquarters of the Czech opposition Social Democrats (CSSD) in Prague - that Russia still perceived the plan to build elements of the US anti-missile shield in central Europe as a threat to its own security.

Buzhinski, who is in charge of negotiations on the issue, said Russia still had doubts about the alleged danger with which the project is justified.

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