Source AP ©

US, Poland undaunted by Russian threats over missile defense

It seems that Poland wants to wreak vengeance on Russia more than fears opposition over American plans to build missile defense system in Eastern Europe. The chief Polish negotiator said that the former Soviet republic and the U.S. remain undeterred by Russian threat.

Witold Waszczykowski said that Russia has shown a determination to block the planned missile defense project, most recently by suspending its membership in a key European arms control treaty.

In a phone interview with The Associated Press, Waszczykowski said the Polish President Lech Kaczynski and U.S. President George W. Bush discussed their concerns over Russia's move during their meeting in Washington last week and resolved not to be swayed by it.

"During the meeting of Kaczynski and President Bush, we discussed what else the Russians can do to spoil the whole concept, and the straightforward answer was, well, that we will continue," Waszczykowski said.

"Despite Russia trying to spoil this concept, to destroy the whole idea, there is a determination and commitment on the American side to continue the project as they proposed in January of this year," said Waszczykowski, who accompanied Kaczynski to Washington.

The U.S. formally asked Poland in January to let it place 10 interceptors in Poland as part of a system aimed at protecting the U.S. and Europe from future missile attacks from Iran. As part of the system, a radar base would be set up in the Czech Republic.

Poland has not yet given its final decision, but Kaczynski said last week during his trip to the U.S. that a base would be good for Poland and a deal is nearly "a foregone conclusion."

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