Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Poland says 'No' to US missile defense plans

Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk did not accept Poland’s offer to deploy elements of the US missile defense system in the country. The talks between the USA and Poland have been going on for 18 months already. However, Washington failed to convince Warsaw of the need to welcome US interceptor missiles in Poland.

Donald Tusk, the Prime Minister of Poland, stated Friday that the deployment of the US missile shield on the Polish territory could only result in higher risks for Poland. Mr. Tusk added that he was striving for political and defense guarantees from the USA to strengthen Poland’s security. The official is perfectly aware of the fact that Russia will aim its missiles at Poland in the event the latter gives the green light to the US missile defense system.

However, Poland is still ready to negotiate with the USA.

The decision about the deployment of the US missile defense system in Poland (which is supposed to down Iranian and North Korean nuclear missiles) has to be taken before the end of George W. Bush’s presidency. The missile defense plans may find themselves in a wastebasket in the event Barack Obama is elected president of the United States.

There are only four months left before the presidential election in the USA. In this case Poland may try and win Poland over to its side or follow an alternative scenario and come to an agreement with Lithuania. This way or other, the US administration will have to face the absence of the European and Atlantic solidarity, which will indirectly mark the success of Moscow’s policies at this point.

In the meantime, Poland's foreign minister has traveled to the United States for talks with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about basing American missile interceptors in Poland for a future missile shield against Iran.

Radek Sikorski left for Washington on Sunday and his trip comes days after Warsaw rebuffed the latest U.S. offer to persuade Poland to accept the missile defense facility.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Friday rejected the U.S. offer as unsatisfactory. Tusk argued that it did not strengthen Poland's security, but stressed he was open to further talks.

"There was a declaration from our side that the negotiations have not finished, that we are inclined to continue them, and eventually accept an American offer, if it fulfills our minimum conditions," Foreign Ministry spokesman Piotr Paszkowski said Monday on TVN24 television.

Paszkowski added that Poland has received "signals now from the U.S. indicating their inclination to continue talks" as well.

Washington and Warsaw opened negotiations 18 months ago on placing the 10 missile interceptors in northern Poland to protect the U.S. and Europe from possible future attacks from Iran, the AP reports.

The base would be linked to a radar-tracking system Washington wants to build in the Czech Republic. Prague has agreed in principle to the plan, but the Czech parliament still must approve the deal.

While in Washington, Sikorski was scheduled to speak by telephone with Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Monday evening, and to meet with the Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, on Tuesday, Paszkowski said.

Source: agencies