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Poland Questions the Missile Shield


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Poland Questions the Missile Shield

The formerly staunch US ally has shifted its tone, and now an ambitious pet project of the Bush administration -- a missile shield to protect Europe and the United States -- is no longer a sure thing in Poland.

Until recently, it looked like the US missile defense shield was a done deal when it came to cooperation with Poland. Although no formal agreement had been signed, the government under Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski seemed eager to make the Americans happy -- and was even willing to ignore European Union concerns when it came to feting their Washington friends.

What a difference an election makes. Donald Tusk took over from Kaczynski in November and has been trying to repair the damage done by his predecessor since. On Saturday, his foreign minister, Radoslaw Sikorski, indicated that Warsaw may now be interested in revisiting Kaczynski's support of the missile shield.

"This is an American, not a Polish project," Sikorski said in an interview with the Polish paper Gazeta Wyborcza on Saturday. "We don't feel threatened by Iran." The US is promoting the missile shield as an effective strategy against threats posed by so-called "rogue states," including Iran.

He softened the implied criticism by saying that he takes US security concerns "very seriously," but said that the risks of the system had to be discussed in detail. He also seemed to have one eye on the presidential campaign in the US. "The worst situation for us," Sikorski said, "would be if Poland agreed to a missile shield, and assumed the costs, only to see the site not get built because the government in America has changed."

The missile shield is only the most recent foreign policy issue being revisited by Tusk. The pro-European prime minister has sought to soften the tone between Warsaw and Berlin (more...) as well as to improve Poland's relations with the European Union after months of blockading by his predecessor.

Above all, however, Tusk has been anxious to diminish tensions with Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin has chosen to interpret the missile shield as a major thorn in his side, and says that Russia feels threatened by the spread of NATO influence in Eastern Europe.

Full story, Source: Der Spiegel

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I dont see any reason for this missile shield except to cause another arms race...it seems more dangerous than it's worth...

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I was expecting that after the last election in Poland. At least some degree of reason came back to Poland politics.

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I was expecting that after the last election in Poland. At least some degree of reason came back to Poland politics.

Not difficult after the twins with the shared brain (that is: half each).

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