Poland to deploy US missile unit by year end, says minister

May 22nd, 2009 - 3:28 am ICT by IANS  

Warsaw, May 22 (Xinhua) Poland will deploy a US missile unit in the country later this year as part of a bilateral pact with Washington, Deputy Defence Minister Stanislaw Komorowski said Thursday.
Russia has strongly opposed the move.

“For the first time US soldiers will be stationed in Poland. This will be symbolic for Poland,” Komorowski said in an interview with a newspaper.

Komorowski said the talks are on for the completion of a final agreement in July. About 100 US soldiers and 196 Patriot missiles will be deployed in the country by year end. The unit would be based permanently near Warsaw by 2012, he added.

The remarks, on the eve of an important summit between the European Union (EU) and Russia, could create tensions between the EU and Moscow, reports said.

Warsaw and Washington have signed a pact last year to deploy 10 interceptor missiles in Poland as part of a missile defence plan that also includes a radar system in the Czech Republic.

Russia warned that it would deploy its own missile system in the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, bordering Poland, in response to the US-Poland plan.

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