Russia, Poland in deadlock over missile shield

April 10th, 2008 - 12:36 pm ICT by admin  

RIA Novosti
Moscow, April 10 (RIA Novosti) Russia and Poland have failed to again reach an agreement over the proposed US missile shield in Central Europe, the foreign ministry here said in a statement. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak and his Polish counterpart, Witold Waszczykowski met Tuesday in Moscow to discuss US plans to deploy elements of its missile defence system in Poland.

“The new round of (Russian-Polish) consultations confirmed the presence of serious differences in the approach to the proposed US interceptor missile base in Poland,” the ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

“However, the sides agreed to continue dialogue on the issue,” it added.

Russia views a planned US missile base in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic as a direct threat to its security and has rejected Washington’s assurances that the system has been designed as protection against possible attacks by Iran and other ‘rogue’ states.

On the eve of his current trip to Moscow, Waszczykowski said Warsaw was ready to hold talks with Russia and Washington on the proposed US missile shield if it is deployed in Poland, but reiterated that the issue of Russian military personnel having permanent access to the site was “out of the question”.

The idea of allowing Russia to monitor proposed US missile defence bases in Central Europe was one of the proposals put forward by the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defence Secretary Robert Gates during their talks in Moscow March 18 with Russia’s Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Lavrov said Tuesday that Russia’s main demand for the deployment of a US missile shield in Central Europe was the constant presence of Russian officers and reliable technical monitoring at the proposed US missile bases.

Warsaw hosted the first round of Polish-Russian consultations on Washington’s missile shield plans in Central Europe at the beginning of January.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who took office in November last year, said shortly after his election that his government had “no rigid doctrine regarding the deployment of a US missile defence base in the country”, and that the issue was “open to all arguments for and against” the shield.
RIA Novosti

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