Czech FM states conditions for U.S. radar deployment

The Czech Foreign Minister, Karel Schwarzenberg, has put forth conditions for the placement of a U.S. radar station on Czech soil, according to Agence France-Presse.

The station is one element of a proposed anti-missile defence system. Mr Schwarzenberg said on Thursday the proposed station should be installed under the same conditions as an already existing station in Great Britain. That would allow the Czech government to have full access to radar data.

Karel Schwarzenberg, Czech Foreign Minister
Karel Schwarzenberg, Czech Foreign Minister

Czech Ministry of Defence says it will not finalise a decision on the missile defence shield until the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Thursday, Austria's Defence Minister Norbert Darabos called the planned system a “provocation,” which unnecessarily revived Cold War debates. He urged U.S. officials to seek a compromise with Russia, which fiercely opposes the plan.

“We are not taking sides. People have concerns and we take these concerns seriously. We are questioning if this missile shield is really ensuring the security in Europe. This matter should be discussed more deeply on the European level. We are basically for disarmament and we think that one-sided steps could lead to a kind of ‘armament spiral’, which is not in our interests,” Stephen Hirsch, spokesman for the Austrian Defence Ministry commented.