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Polish Lawmakers To Debate US Missile Plan

Uckraine's Victor Yushchenko with Polish President Lech Kaczynski.
by Staff Writers
Warsaw (AFP) Jan 30, 2007
Lawmakers in Poland will be given the chance to debate plans to site part of a US anti-ballistic missile system in the country, Polish President Lech Kaczynski said on Tuesday. "This is a subject which must be discussed by all the parties represented in parliament," Kaczynski said in an interview with Polish public radio. Representatives of all parliamentary parties were set to meet for initial talks on the issue in the coming days, Kaczynski added.

Washington wants to deploy 10 interceptor missiles and a radar in Europe to reinforce its defences against the perceived threat of a ballistic missile attack from North Korea or Iran.

Seeking a home for the disputed new system, the United States made official requests to the Czech Republic and Poland earlier this month.

The plan has sparked an angry reaction from Russia, which has accused the United States of "destabilising" the region.

The Czech Republic and Poland, which were both members of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact, joined NATO and the European Union in 2004.

The Polish government has so far appeared lukewarm about the proposal, and has been seeking additional security guarantees from the United States.

On Tuesday, Polish Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga said that Warsaw was "studying" the proposal but that it was "not yet ready to make a decision".

Fotyga also said that no date had been set for the start of talks with the US.

The plan has meanwhile sparked protests in the Czech Republic, with opponents calling for a referendum on siting a base there.

Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek has said he sees no reason to hold a public vote, describing it as a "technical" and "security" issue that does not lend itself to such consultation.

However, the fragile Czech government must still win approval for the base from both houses of parliament.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Ukraine Denies Reports Of Missile Cooperation With US
Kiev (RIA Novosti) Jan 30, 2007
Ukraine's defense minister did not discuss possible cooperation with the United States in missile technologies and anti-missile defense systems, the ministry said Tuesday. Some media sources published statements earlier made by Sergei Markov, the director of Moscow's Political Research Institute, saying Ukraine's defense minister had approached the United States to discuss possible missile cooperation.

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