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Boeing Could Build Missile Base In Poland

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by Staff Writers
Warsaw (AFP) Jul 05, 2007
US aviation giant Boeing is set to build a base for a battery of American missiles in Poland, if Warsaw and Washington go ahead with a controversial US anti-missile shield project, the Polish official leading negotiations said Thursday. "If the US Congress approves the budget for the construction of parts of the shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, we can assume that Boeing will receive 400-600 million dollars to build a base in Poland," Deputy Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski told a parliamentary commission.

The upkeep of such a base would cost the United States around 30 million dollars a year, while Polish expenditure for the ground-work would be "minute", said Waszczykowski, quoted by Poland's PAP news agency.

Waszczykowski, who is in charge of talks with the United States on the missile plan, said last week that Warsaw and Washington could reach a deal by September or October.

Washington wants to site 10 interceptor missiles in Poland as part of an extended defence shield against airborne attacks, along with a powerful tracking radar in the Czech Republic.

Russia, however, has strongly objected to the US plan and threatened to retaliate if the system is installed in its communist-era stamping ground.

Moscow does not accept Washington's argument that the system is purely defensive and meant to prevent potential attacks from what the United States calls "rogue" nations, such as Iran.

Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov on Wednesday hinted that Moscow could respond by stationing missiles in its Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, which borders Poland.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to US President George W. Bush widening the European anti-missile defense system and bringing NATO on board, saying it would render the US plan unnecessary.

Putin has previously suggested sharing a radar alert system located in ex-Soviet Azerbaijan -- a proposal Waszczykowski has said is "interesting" but only seen as "complementary" to the Polish and Czech plan.

The next round of talks on the anti-missile shield is due to take place during Polish President Lech Kaczynski's visit to Washington later this month, followed by negotiations between defence experts in early August in Warsaw.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Japan Makes Missile Defence Shield Priority
Tokyo (AFP) Jul 07, 2007
Japan said Friday it aims to erect a missile defence shield as quickly as possible as North Korea develops increasingly sophisticated weaponry, including long-range rockets. Japan's annual defence report warned that North Korea is improving its missile system to cover all east Asia, including Japan, and potentially reach the northern tip of Australia as well as part of Alaska. The report, approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet, was the first published by the defence ministry, which was upgraded from agency status in January in line with Abe's initiative to expand the role of Japanese troops.

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