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15 Dec, 2008 08:31

Czechs move to block US missile shield

Opposition politicians in Prague are taking legal action to prevent the US from building part of a controversial missile defence system on Czech soil. The Socialist Democrats are asking the Czech constitutional court to rule on the legality of the shield.

The move would delay a parliamentary vote on the issue.

The American anti missile defence plan is strongly opposed among the Czech electorate.

“It’s called ‘defence’, but we know it’s an offensive system, so it’s just a way of selling the idea,” Jan Tamás says, spokesperson of the Non-violence Movement.

“If we become part of this project, we would be an inferior partner to the U.S., we’d just be following the U.S. foreign policy, and we would not have an opportunity to influence that”.

Meanwhile, Russian lawmakers are meeting with a U.S. congressional delegation to discuss the future of bilateral relations.

As well as the proposed shield, the talks will focus on a nuclear arms reduction treaty agreement which expires next December.

It could be the last meeting between the two sides before the White House changes hands in January.