Czech MPs debate U.S. missile defence deal

The lower house of the Czech parliament is debating whether to allow the U.S. to build an anti-missile shield base on its territory, and the status of any foreign forces on Czech soil. The two countries signed the deal in July and September, but it faced

Latest polls suggest nearly 70 per cent of the Czechs are against the idea of the radar bases. Deputies will vote on whether to reject the treaties or debate them. If the discussion goes ahead, the treaties could be ratified in 2009.

The radar is part of the planned U.S. anti-missile defence system that would also include the deployment of 10 interceptor missiles in Poland.

Moscow strongly objects to the plan and believes it will be a direct threat to Russia’s national security. President Dmitry Medvedev said the country would be forced to  respond to the deployment.

The U.S., however, claims it needs the shield as protection against attacks by so-called “rogue states” like Iran.