The USA is ready to refuse from the initiative to deploy elements of its missile defense system in Poland. The tough stance of the Polish government became the stumbling block in the talks between the two countries. Warsaw demands very expensive preferences in return for the construction of a US missile base on its territory. It is not ruled out that the USA will deploy its missiles only in the Czech Republic.
The conditions, which the Polish government puts forward to the USA, are very hard to implement. An anonymous source from Poland’s diplomatic missions in one of Western countries said that no one talks about Poland’s unwillingness to deploy the US missile defense system, although it is very hard to meet Poland’s requirements on the matter.
The source said that the costs for the modernization of the Polish army and its equipment with up-to-date air defense systems (which is one of Poland’s conditions for the construction of the US army base) may exceed $14 billion.
“There is no way the Pentagon could obtain this money. The US Congress cuts the funding of the national missile defense program every year. That is why the Pentagon has to look for an alternative for Poland,” the diplomat said.
Even if the US administration agreed upon Warsaw’s current terms, the Polish government would set forth new ones instantly. It is worthy of note that the Pentagon has canceled a visit of its official delegation to Poland that was supposed to take place this week. This may mean that the USA has realized that the game is not worth the candle.
The Czech Republic will probably become an alternative for the US administration. The Czech authorities quickly agreed to let the US build a radar station on their territory. More importantly, the government did not ask for any compensation. US and Czech officials will sign an official agreement for the construction of the radar station in the beginning of May, during Condoleezza Rice’s visit to the country. US Secretary of State will be a guest of honor at the scientific conference devoted to air defense issues.
The Pentagon officials have already sounded out opportunities for a missile base to be built in the Czech Republic and have not met any resistance in Prague. The Czech authorities are only concerned about the low support which the US-led project enjoys among the local population. About 67 percent of the Czechs stand strongly against the initiative. In addition, the Czech political opposition believes that the nation should fully abstain from the participation in the creation of the US missile defense system.
In the meantime, a group of US scientists presented more evidence to the Congress to prove that the global air defense system will not be able to defend the nation against a possible nuclear threat. In addition, the scientists said the Pentagon should be held liable for misinforming European allies.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov