by Staff Writers
Warsaw (AFP) March 2, 2010
Poland on Tuesday agreed to a new version of a deal on stationing an American missile shield, a government statement said, adding it would be aimed essentially at potential threats from Iran.
Warsaw "accepts signing a protocol modifying the accord signed by the Polish and American governments on the installation on our territory of anti-ballistic missile interceptors concluded in Warsaw on August 20, 2008," it said.
In September, US President Barack Obama shelved a plan by his predecessor George W. Bush to deploy a missile shield in Poland and a radar base in the Czech Republic by 2013 that Russia had slammed as a grave security threat.
The US has insisted the system was in no way aimed against Russia, but aimed to counter potential attacks by so-called "rogue" states, notably Iran.
But Obama's team then said it wanted to deploy a new SM-3 anti-missile system in Poland and the neighbouring Czech Republic in 2015.
During an October visit by US Vice President Joe Biden to Poland, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said is country was ready to join a new Obama-proposed US anti-missile system.
"In line with the new concept, the system is primarily to guard against Iranian short and medium range missiles by using existing defence systems," the Polish government said Tuesday.
A first batch of United States Patriot missiles will be deployed in Poland in April, defence ministry spokesman Janusz Sejmej said Saturday.
The United States have also spoken with Romania about hosting 20 missile interceptors as part of the new US missile shield in Europe, Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi said Friday.
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