U.S. Eyes Lithuania as Site for Missile Shield and Russia threatens actionJune 19th, 2008 - 11:08 pm ICT by David M N James
The United States is negotiating with the Republic of Lithuania on a possible establishment of a missile shield site.
This comes after the Polish authority seemed to lag behind efforts by Washington to build a military facility in Warsaw. Lithuania is formerly part of the Soviet Union and now is a possible alternative location.
The missile shield project is making the diplomatic relationship with Russia more strained. Russia has warned of dire consequences if the missile shield is built. The Lithuania project is stirring fresh tensions with Russia.
The Russian government has warned of military strikes if the United States deploys the shield’s missile interceptors in Poland and its radar in the Czech Republic.
Both are NATO countries that once belonged to the defunct Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. Russia is very upset with NATO’s over attempts to expand to Ukraine, which is a former Soviet republic and has warned Ukrainians’ of visa restrictions for Ukrainians entering Russia.
Russia will face three ballistic states if the USA is successful in its bid to have strategic missile defence shield in the former states of Russia.
According to Juozas Olekas, the Lithuanian defence minister, said the government of Lithuania is waiting to see the terms the United States is offering.
Tom Casey, the State Department spokesperson told reporters that “We have had general conversations with the government of Lithuania about missile defense issues,” He said that “But, certainly, we expect and hope that we will be able to conclude an agreement with Poland in the near future. And we do expect it will work out, so I don’t think there’s going to be a need for any alternatives.“
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